As a growing cost of living crisis bites further into personal budgets, demand in Oldham for emergency provision like food banks is only likely to rise. It’s a deeply rooted systemic problem that will not be easily solved. But a new partnership between economic development co-operative Stir to Action and Oldham Council aims to provide local people and communities with the resources to test new alternatives, backing inspiring food enterprises to help create a food system that better serves local people.
Applications open today for the new Food Security Challenge Prize in Oldham offering more than £50,000 in start-up and scale-up grants, and mentoring for new or growing food enterprises that are developing the most effective responses to local food insecurity, and which focus on long-term change, social impact, and increasing employment in the local food sector.
Recognising the importance of food as an economic, public health, and cultural issue, ideas are sought that use community-led business models to increase local food through enterprises, such as:
- Food co-operatives
- Community growing spaces
- Community cafes
- Community food kitchens
Oldham residents and enterprises are invited to apply for start-up or scale-up grants from now to 29 November 2022. Attending any of our free CommunityFed: Oldham events will provide guidance about what food initiatives qualify to apply for this funding. Shortlisted applicants will be guaranteed a grant and will be invited to pitch for the highest amount of funding available at an event in Oldham in February 2023.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Oldham Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “I am pleased to support the Food Security Challenge which further develops the food-growing skills, knowledge and experience of local communities and organisations to create sustainable food enterprises in Oldham - helping us build a more resilient food system for the future”.
Nicola Scott, project lead from Stir to Action said: "The Food Security Challenge Prize offers applicants an opportunity to utilise the guidance they've received from the CommunityFed: Oldham programme of events, to establish or grow their food enterprises. I'm excited to see the great ideas I've heard from attendees of the CommunityFed events be put into practice to increase food security in Oldham through this prize."
For more information about the Food Security Challenge Prize see stirtoaction.com/food-security-challenge or for help with applying, contact Nicola Scott: firstname.lastname@example.org