A Menu for Change will seek to develop, test and promote an alternative approach which puts cash at the heart of the response. The project will work intensively in three local authorities – Fife, Dundee City, East Ayrshire – to review and improve current practice in partnership with those already responding to food insecurity.
Central to this approach will be enhancing access to statutory entitlements and cash-based crisis supports, including the Scottish Welfare Fund, as well as debt minimisation. We want more people to have money to buy food, rather than them having no option but to seek emergency food aid. Alongside our focus on income, A Menu for Change will seek to increase the choices dignified access to healthy food, such as via community cafes or food cooperatives, to those people who – for whatever reason – are still food insecure.
We know the existing response will look different in different areas so the solutions will look different too. We want to work with local stakeholders – local authorities, food banks and others proving emergency food aid, welfare rights and money advice services, community organisations – to map existing practice and identify any areas for improvement.
We will then share the lessons we learn across Scotland whilst advocating for national level change to increase the focus on prevention of income crises.
We will engage with actors across Scotland to stimulate and harness a network for change. This work will involve highlighting good practice, sharing learning and knowledge, and raising local voices.
A Menu for Change will undertake in-depth qualitative research with individuals experiencing food insecurity. The project will also create opportunities for emergency food aid providers to contribute data to improve knowledge and understanding.
We will use the learning and evidence from A Menu for Change to advocate for policy change to increase the focus on prevention, cash and rights based responses, and dignified access to food.