To mark Bristol’s ‘Food Justice Fortnight’, the ‘One City Food Equality Action Plan (2023-26)’ has been launched as a guide for creating a fairer local food system over the next three years.

Following years of austerity, the Covid-19 pandemic, and now the rising cost-of-living, this is a crucial moment for us to act. We are seeing food inequality increase with speed in our city, and though we must continue to put pressure on government to respond to this crisis in a meaningful way, we also need to recognise that we can work together locally to create long-term change.

This is where the One City Food Equality Action Plan can help.

By strengthening and expanding existing projects that already work well, trialling innovative new approaches, and by putting into place what we need for future action, the Action Plan can have a positive and just impact on our local food system in Bristol.

Food equality exists when all people, at all times, have access to nutritious, affordable and appropriate food according to their social, cultural and dietary needs. They are equipped with the resources, skills and knowledge to use and benefit from food, which is sourced from a resilient, fair and environmentally sustainable food system.

Bristol’s vision of food equality

It builds on the vision of food equality published in ‘A One City Food Equality Strategy for Bristol (2022-32)’, in which we identified five key priority areas for change:

  • Fair, equitable access
  • Choice and security
  • Skills and resources
  • Sustainable local food system
  • Food at the heart of decision-making

Using these priority areas as it’s framework, the Action Plan offers practical steps for making this vision a reality.

Importantly, the vision and actions were co-produced with people who have lived experience of food inequality, as well as groups and organisations working in this space. It’s an approach that makes space for a wider range of voices to be represented in decision-making, which ultimately means that the actions put forward directly reflect what the people of Bristol want to see happen.

How can you get involved?

The Action Plan is mostly targeted at stakeholders who support at-risk communities across Bristol. This could be food support settings who want to improve clients’ experiences, community organisations who want to broaden their services to more residents, or surplus food distributors who want to diversify the foods they supply. It can also guide Council departments, other statutory organisations, and the business sector to know how they can best connect their work to food equality efforts.

However, if you aren’t currently working in this area, you can still be involved! Get in touch, we’d love to hear more about your ideas or what you’re doing to help achieve food equality in Bristol.

To help kick-start this work, we are currently managing the community food element of the Household Support Fund (HSF) on behalf of Bristol City Council. Applicants need to connect their project ideas with the five priority areas (listed above) of the One City Food Equality Strategy and Action Plan.

Applications are open from 10th July to 28th July. See here for more information or to apply for funding.