BWYD ABERTAWE – Food for thought!

.Humans are a diverse bunch, yet, as Jo Cox said, “We have far more in common than that which divides us”. We all need food.

“Food poverty” has meant different things over the years. For a while, it meant going hungry. Then, it meant only being able afford bad food, which may contribute to obesity, diabetes and malnutrition, but didn’t necessarily mean going hungry. As the number of community food banks continues to increase, helping desperate people to access food which is often not very nutritious, it is perhaps useful to put aside arguments about definitions, and agree that we have a problem.

As we’ve written elsewhere, large-scale agriculture has contributed enormously to climate and environmental breakdown. It has also contributed to an economy in which people are reliant on producers and suppliers located far from their homes. Restoring a connection between people who eat (that would be all of us!), what they eat and where it comes from has been an important mission for those concerned about sustainability.

Gower Power has been really thrilled to support the growth and development of Bwyd Abertawe, a network of people concerned about food or involved with the local food system. The network includes farmers and growers, caterers, food retailers, people working in health and poverty alleviation, people who procure food for use in our schools and workplaces, and so on. There is a smaller Steering Group, which Gower Power is proud to serve on and which was able to access funding to recruit some paid staff and begin Swansea’s journey towards becoming a Sustainable Food Place. As that journey progresses, the aim is to shorten supply chains, to increase connections between local food producers, distributers, retailers and “end users” (those who … err … eat food), and all with an eye on carbon reduction and saving nature.

One of the really rewarding things we have directly supported Bwyd Abertawe with recently has been their allocation of small grants to local projects. Welsh Government distributed pots of money around Wales for innovative work strengthening local food systems and tackling local food poverty. Our Grants & Development Manager teamed up with colleagues from SCVS and NRW, all with grant-making expertise, to make sure the funds got awarded to the projects most likely to see the difference we want to make in Swansea this year. A few projects weren’t successful – but never fear! We were able to support them with our own Summer ’23 round of small grants, and you’ll be hearing more about them soon.

There are so many areas to look at regarding sustainability and carbon reduction. As a member of 4theRegion, we participate in such a wide range of discussions, about transport, housing, energy, foodand more; we love being plugged in to all the innovative activity going in in Swansea and beyond. And by plugging in to us, by investing in our renewable energy offers and becoming a member of our Community Benefit Society, you are playing a very real part in keeping these sparks flying… Please sign up to our mailing list below to find out more.

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