Archbishop Malcolm McMahon has joined forces with the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes, to become the first city leaders to issue public pledges in support of a radical new strategy to tackle the ‘burning injustice’ of food poverty and create ‘a city where everyone can eat good food’.
They have each released a video pledge outlining how they will support the Good Food Plan, ahead of the pledge evening taking place in the Cathedral, from 7pm-8.30pm on November 10.
The event is open to everyone from across the life of the city including businesses, community and charity leaders, residents of all ages, employers, workers, volunteers, and anyone interested in learning how to join the #goodfoodliverpool movement. To register for a free ticket, sign up here.
It is hoped the Archbishop and Bishop’s words will pave the way for others to follow suit, with opportunities to make individual, workplace, community or organisational pledges both on the night and afterwards.
Pledge examples include promising to signpost people to where they can access good food, commit to paying all employees a real living wage, start up a new sustainable food business or project, take part in food insecurity screening, volunteer, share resources, or simply start conversations in your community.
Speakers at the pledge event will include Trussell Trust Chief Executive Emma Revie, MP Ian Byrne, and Melissa Campbell, Consultant in Public Health at Liverpool City Council.
They will set out how the Good Food Plan is a five-phase strategy, which hinges on empowering people to work collaboratively to create systemic change.
Co-ordinated by charitable food alliance Feeding Liverpool with backing from Liverpool City Council and a dozen other partners in the city’s Food Insecurity Task Force including the University of Liverpool, Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services (LCVS), St Andrew’s Community Network, Torus Housing and FareShare, it is initially focused on tackling the immediate problems of acute hunger and chronic food insecurity.
Working with a growing number of stakeholders across the city, the Good Food Plan will also focus on improving access to good food, enabling active citizenship, influencing policy, reducing food waste and environmental impact and establishing sustainable food systems.
In his video pledge Archbishop Malcolm describes it as a ‘tragedy’ that such an initiative is needed, and pledges a £5,000 donation from the Archdiocese’s charitable funds to support the work of Feeding Liverpool and the Good Food Plan. He highlights the commitment of the archdiocese to supporting the Good Food Plan in offering the Metropolitan Cathedral to host the pledge event and providing temporary office accommodation to the Feeding Liverpool team.
He says: “Many of our Catholic parishes and agencies already support food banks, food pantries and other local actions to relieve and prevent food insecurity and many of our Catholic schools regularly provide good food to children who would otherwise be hungry and ensure that all our children learn how to grow and cook healthy food.
“The archdiocese, along with our ecumenical partners, has supported Feeding Liverpool since 2014, at its inception, and as a further sign of our commitment, we will contribute an additional sum of £5,000 from our charitable funds to enable Feeding Liverpool’s work of co-ordinating the Good Food Plan.
“It is a tragedy that such an initiative is needed in a wealthy country like ours, but as long as our sisters and brothers struggle under the burden of food insecurity and other forms of poverty, we will work with all people of good will to enable them to live with the dignity that is the right of every human being.”
The pledge event is being co-hosted by Feeding Liverpool at the Metropolitan Cathedral, with support from Liverpool Cathedral and social justice charity Together Liverpool, and compère on the night will be BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Paul Beesley.
Dr Naomi Maynard, Good Food Programme Director, Feeding Liverpool said: “This event is for everyone. It marks a key moment for our city, where words and ideas begin to be turned into practical actions. We invite you to join us, come along to find out more about how you can play a part creating a city where everyone can eat good food.”
Find out more about the Good Food Plan and sign up for updates here: https://www.feedingliverpool.org/goodfoodplan/
Follow @GoodFoodLiverpool Instagram and Facebook and @GoodFoodLpool on Twitter, and use #GoodFoodLiverpool to join the conversation.