Preserving dignity looks like it is being built into the design Scotland’s new social security system. It’s also the phrase that was at the heart of work undertaken by the Poverty Truth Commission and Nourish Scotland on the community provision of food. Consideration of how something might impact on a person’s dignity, could really transform the way we think about the delivery of public services. Here’s a great example of a community project in Aberdeen which tackles food poverty but always with a keen eye on preserving the dignity of those they serve.
A basket full of high-quality food for £2.50 may seem too good to be true – but that’s now the reality for shoppers at Scotland’s first food pantry.
The Woodside Pantry in Aberdeen provides people living in one of the city’s most disadvantaged areas a way to shop for a lot less.
It is an innovative, community-run project. The aim is to combat food poverty, and it has been hailed as a sustainable alternative to food bank use.
“I can get some really good healthy food at a very reasonable price”
For a small weekly charge, members get access to food donated by supermarkets and a local charity. Clare Whyte, one of the workers at the community centre where the pantry is based, told BBC Scotland’s The Nine: “Food banks are not a long-term solution. It’s an emergency food service, really.
“This could be a way to reduce food waste which is massive and a huge issue as we know and also tackle food poverty at the same time.
Food parcels from food banks are often only available to people who have been referred by frontline professionals like GPs or advice agencies. But membership of the Woodside Pantry was initially open to anyone living in the immediate area around the Fersands and Fountain Community Centre, where the project is based. It proved so popular that the catchment area has now been widened and the membership cap extended. Almost half of the people using the service receive benefits or Jobseeker’s Allowance. A quarter of the users are single parents. There are now 83 households with membership to the pantry, and more than 200 local residents – including children – are directly benefitting.
“I can get some very good, healthy food at a very reasonable price,” said Margaret Aisbitt, who was one of the first to sign up. Read the rest of this entry »
Legislation has been officially lodged at the Scottish Parliament to ensure free access to sanitary products for all women. Labour MSP Monica Lennon said her member’s bill aimed to make Scotland a “world leader” in tackling period poverty. It would make it a statutory requirement for schools, colleges and universities to provide such items. The Scottish government has pledged £4m to boost provision in public buildings.
Here in K & M, we were fortunate to have Christine McLean along to a Welfare & Wellbeing Network meeting from CFine to discuss her work on period poverty. In a nutshell, ‘Period poverty’ refers to having a lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. Something that many of us are lucky enough to probably take for granted.
The Scottish Government asked CFINE to operate and coordinate a pilot scheme for six months in 2017-18 through which sanitary products were made available free to all those on low incomes who need them, including any gender categories in need.
Access to Sanitary Products pilot operated in Aberdeen’s regeneration areas through partner organisations. A wide range of community and voluntary organisations supported the pilot, along with the local authority and educational institutions including; schools, colleges and universities.
It has ended in a huge success with over 1,000 people signing up to receive sanitary products. As a result of the success, The Scottish Government has allocated funding to roll-out the distribution of free sanitary products to those in need widely across Scotland, including Aberdeen via the FareShare network.
So, how does this impact in K & M?
What Christine hopes to do is to extend this service into Aberdeenshire. To enable this to happen, a hub for delivery of bulk pallets of the sanitary products needs to be identified which could serve a wider area. For example, in K & M there would be one main hub which would then distribute more widely over the area. Further distribution could be by groups picking up products for a specific settlement and then delivering to all outlets, or encouraging others to collect them. A record is kept of numbers of products distributed to provide tangible evidence of the need for this service and service continuance.
Think you can help out? Get in touch and we will pass on your ideas.
Improving Health and Well-Being: Business for Community Benefit
CFINE is looking to recruit an effective and efficient administrator
Post: Finance and Produce Administrator
Salary: £9 – £10.50 per hour depending on experience and qualifications.
- Support and supervision of colleagues (3 at this time)
- Pricing and invoicing
- Recording data for cost collations
- Cash handling, reconciliations and banking
- Stocktakes of produce
- Ordering produce for customer orders
- Cost comparisons and price negotiations with suppliers
- Dealing with any customer complaints
- Filing and organisation of the sales and finance paperwork
- Other administrative duties as required, including emails, answering the telephone and taking customer orders
For more information to receive the job description which includes how to apply and further information, please contact CFINE on 01224 596156/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for applications: 5pm, Friday, 13/1/17.
Interviews will be on: PM Monday, 16/1/17.
Tackling Poverty: Building Resilience
Join our supporters today and sign up for our
Community Food Challenge 17th – 21st October 2016
- Survive on £2 per day for five days
- Raise funds through sponsorship
- Help fight local food poverty
- Only £10 registration fee
Contact Andreea to register your support and receive your detailed
information pack. Email email@example.com or call 01224 596156
All funds raised through Appetite for Change will go directly towards local
charity CFINE (Community Food Initiatives North East) to tackle poverty,
food poverty and improve the circumstances of local vulnerable and
disadvantaged people. The charity also works towards reducing waste,
and environmental and community regeneration.
SC 037833 www.cfine.org 01224 596156 #fightfoodpoverty