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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a food fund?

Just think of a food fund as a big pool of money that’s then divided up between various community projects that are helping to tackle food insecurity.


What is food insecurity?

Food insecurity is when people don’t have reliable access to nutritious, affordable and culturally appropriate food. 


How common is food insecurity?

In Bristol, 1 in 12 households experience food insecurity, while in some of the city's most disadvantaged areas it affects 1 in 6 households. While reasons for food insecurity can vary, it is often financially driven - anything from low-paying jobs to changes in the welfare system to rising costs. On top, it can also be related to a lack of accessibility and availability of healthy and affordable food.


Food insecurity doesn’t affect all equally either. It disproportionately affects people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, young people, single parents, disabled people, and members of the LGBT+ community. As the cost of living crisis worsens, however, we expect food insecurity to deepen across all communities in Bristol. 


How is the Bristol Local Food Fund tackling food insecurity?

You’ll already find numerous community food projects in this city working to tackle food insecurity. What Bristol Local Food Fund (BLFF) offers is funding and support through fundraising from local people and businesses. BLFF uses a process called “participatory grantmaking” to decide where funding is best awarded. In 2023, the voluntary project awarded £60,000 to 18 community food projects across the city. 


What is participatory grantmaking?

 Participatory grantmaking (PGM) places the financial decision-making in the hands of people who have lived experiences - essentially giving power to the communities that these choices will impact most. Read our blog post about participatory grantmaking to find out more.


Why is participatory grantmaking important?

Many charities and third-party organisations don’t reflect the communities they’re giving grants to, resulting in a poor understanding of the needs of those they’re trying to support! That’s why BLFF has recruited a Citizens Panel that understands food insecurity firsthand to decide which community projects in Bristol should be awarded grants. All members of the Panel will also be remunerated above the living wage and all reasonable expenses covered.


How much is Bristol Local Food Fund aiming to raise?

Due to growing numbers of people suffering from food insecurity, BLFF is now aiming to raise £150,000 per year.


What kind of community food projects will receive funding?

As nearly all the decision making is left in the hands of the Citizens Panel, all kinds of community food projects may benefit - anything from providing regular veg boxes to community cookery workshops. What Bristol Local Food Fund will ensure, however, is that grant funding goes on improving access to nutritious, affordable food for the most disadvantaged in the city.


Who is behind the project?

Bristol Local Food Fund is entirely run by volunteers - many from Bristol, all who care about food and community - and was started by Mike Lloyd-Jones in July 2020 during the first lockdown. The project also works in partnership with Feeding Bristol and Quartet Community Foundation.

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