The Birkenhead Constituency Engagement Officer and an officer from the office of The Rt Hon Frank Field MP gave a verbal update regarding the Feeding Birkenhead Project.
Mr Brannan indicated that seven projects were currently running and it was intended that these projects would carry on through the October half term.
The Chair indicated that he had written to four schools which had a high proportion of children receiving free school meals to ask if they would be willing to open up their schools during the half term, to date none of the schools had replied. The Chair reported that he, the Deputy Chair and Leader of the Council would continue to chase up the schools for support.
The Chair introduced Ms Emma Wilkes to the Committee who updated Members on their SEAD project.
SEAD project was a Neo Community Café’s Empowerment and Social Action programme which offered communities the tools and knowledge to build self-sustainable log-term solutions to the issues of food poverty. It was hoped that the project would be replicated in Birkenhead and Rock Ferry.
In relation to activities Ms Wilkes indicated that week days there would be activities such as Community Café – 3 days per week, 0-5 early years provision supported by the Shaw Trust, baby and tots groups, baby massage, surplus food project in conjunction with local shops and free family law weekly advice sessions.
Ms Wilkes indicated that she had regular meeting with the community to discuss what activities they would like to see delivered.
The Chair updated the Committee on the Task and Finish Groups that had been established in each Ward consisting of Ward Councillors, himself and Andrew Forsey would work to secure a community venue for a daily ‘food hub’. The first of these Task and Groups would be held in Rock Ferry and its first objective would be to secure the future of the Vikings Centre and discuss a bid received from the Neo Café who wished to operate there.
In response to Ms Wilkes request for the Committee to ask retailers and food outlets to support their projects, the Chair reported that the Committee would write to each of the supermarkets in Birkenhead asking them to pledge their support to feeding Birkenhead by rescuing their surplus food and donating surplus chillers and freezers to each ‘food hub’.
In response to a suggestion that chillers could be provided outside in the community giving people better access to food; this had been evidenced in a similar scheme in Spain. The Chair requested that the Constituency Manager and Mr Andrew Forsey explore this suggestion to see if this could be replicated in Birkenhead.
(1) the update be noted;
(2) Task and Finish Groups that had been established in each Ward consisting of Ward Councillors, himself and Andrew Forsey would work to secure a community venue for a daily ‘food hub’. The first of these Task and Groups would be held in Rock Ferry and its first objective would be to secure the future of the Vikings Centre and discuss a bid received from the Neo Café who wished to operate there.