Why BLFF?

The Cause

For thousands of people across the city, Bristol’s vibrant food culture is a world away. Bristol Local Food Fund aims to build one central pot to tackle food inequality. By connecting the efforts already in place, and recruiting a citizens panel to choose which new projects to support, the fund will ensure that everyone can access affordable, healthy food.

No one wants to live in a city of inequalities, and Bristol has an amazing charitable and community ethos, but to make a real impact, there needs to be a way to focus resources, and give power to those who are so often disempowered by the structure of our society. 

Who are we?

The Bristol Local Food Fund is project run entirely by volunteers, most of whom live in Bristol and care about food, community, sustainability and making a positive difference. The project started in July 2020 during the first lockdown by Mike Lloyd-Jones, a Bristol resident who has worked and volunteered in Bristol’s third sector for over ten years.
 

Bristol Local Food Fund is working in partnership with Bristol City Council, Burges Salmon, Feeding Bristol, Quartet Community Foundation on behalf of Bristol City Funds, and Bristol Food Network.

 

The partners have been supporting the development through advice, support and connections to help the BLFF project develop. The money raised by the crowdfunder campaign - and any other donations to the project - will be held by Feeding Bristol and Quartet Community Foundation on behalf of the partnership.
 

The BLFF team have engaged with many community food projects in Bristol, to understand their needs and the needs of their community to ensure that BLFF is following an approach that is helpful and meeting their needs and the needs of their respective communities.
 

What are we aiming to achieve?

We ran a crowdfunder campaign in November 2021, and raised £57,000
from the people of Bristol.
 

To make sure the fund truly serves people in the city who are most in need, BLFF is now recruiting a Citizen’s Panel, a group of people with lived experience of food insecurity, to help design the fund through a participatory grantmaking process.

The panel members will be diverse and representative of many areas of Bristol, especially communities, areas and demographics that are most heavily impacted by food insecurity.

 

The panel members will be remunerated for their time at the equivalent rate of the real living wage and will be professionally facilitated and supported through the design process.

Setting up the Citizens Panel is a complex process and the panel sessions will take place in Autumn 2022. The specifics of the fund - e.g. the awards process, eligibility criteria will be shaped by the Citizens Panel, but guided by principles of equity, accessibility, flexibility and a vision of making good quality, affordable food available to everyone.
 

The BLFF team will connect community food projects, partners, stakeholders and other relevant organisations in the city with the panel to ensure that a breadth of knowledge and information is shared, and that all voices are heard, fairly and openly.

The BLFF team and partners believe that following this approach will make the fund more effective and impactful because the people it aims to help will have a big say in how it is delivered.

What kinds of organisations will benefit?

The Bristol Local Food Fund will give grant funding to community food projects working in areas of greatest disadvantage in our city.

A lot of the decision-making about the grant process is for the Citizen's Panel, but with the broad commitments that the fund will:
 

  • Prioritise equitable outcomes - understand the structural problems that cause food insecuity, and is focussed on improving access to good quality, affordable food for people who are impacted most severely by food insecurity.
     

  • Make the application, awards and monitoring/reporting processes of the grants as inclusive and as accessible as possible for people of every background, particularly those who are disproportionately impacted by structural inequalities.
     

  • Give flexibility to applicants and grantees - allowing them to spend grants based on their own perceived needs.

Image by Martyna Bober