A Menu for Change seeks to develop, test and promote alternative approaches that puts cash at the heart of responses to food insecurity. The project has worked intensively in three local authorities – Fife, Dundee City, East Ayrshire – to review and support improvements in current practice in partnership with those already responding to food insecurity.
Central to this approach is 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 seeks to increase the choices people have to access healthy food, such as via community cafes or food cooperatives, for those who – for whatever reason – are still food insecure.
We know the existing responses look different in different areas, so the solutions will look different too. We have committed to working with local stakeholders – local authorities, welfare rights and money advice services, food banks and others proving emergency food aid, community organisations – to understand existing practice and identify areas for improvement.
The following reports are a summary of our learning to date in Dundee City, East Ayrshire and Fife, including recommendations for local action based on our work with stakeholders in these areas:
We continue to share the lessons we’re learning across Scotland whilst advocating for national level change to increase the focus on prevention of income crises.