Eat Well in BwD (Food Resilience Alliance)
At the Blackburn with Darwen (BwD) Food Resilience Alliance (FRA) we work on the principle of people-powered change. We believe we can collectively transform the way we think, feel, and behave around food, whilst also improving the health and wellbeing of our residents
We aim to tackle food poverty more effectively as a community; promote healthy and accessible food to our residents; build community food, knowledge and resources and reduce food waste and use surpluses locally.
We will bring together community, voluntary, faith, third, and public sector organisations to ensure that every resident of BwD has access to healthy, nutritious, and sustainable food.
If you would like to find out more about the work of the Food Resilience Alliance or become a member, please contact PublicHealthAdmin@blackburn.gov.uk
Our Food Charter sets out the ways we will achieve this:
- Tackle food poverty more effectively as a community
We will create a ‘Food Poverty Action Plan’ which underpins our Eat Well Strategy to tackle poverty. This will involve all organisations which provide food and support for those in crisis or significant poverty – food banks, community kitchens, holiday clubs, hunger teams, benefit, and financial advice.
- Promote healthy and accessible food to BwD residents
We will explain the importance of healthy food to everyone in ways that are meaningful to everyone.
We will work together in strategic and delivery partnerships to ensure that polices and resources maximise impact on the health and wellbeing of our residents. Healthy, accessible food is a right for all our residents.
- Build community food knowledge, skills and resources
We will promote new and existing opportunities to grow, cook and eat good food. This will be done by sharing knowledge and skills
between age groups and cultures. We will promote locally grown food to be used in our communities and as a way of addressing food poverty. We will support, promote and protect breastfeeding as a healthy start in life, building on our role as a Unicef gold award winning ‘breastfeeding friendly borough’.
- Reduce food waste and use surplus locally
We will work with local food growers and suppliers to reduce food waste. We will ensure that surplus food from shops feed back into the local food system – to food banks and community kitchens.
It is not always easy for families on a budget to maintain a healthy diet and to access plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The FRA is working with partners to find ways to bring affordable, nutritious food for all. We are working with refuse collectors, schools, supermarkets and restaurants to redistribute surplus food, encouraging use of community gardens, and providing inspirational, healthy recipes to create tasty and cost-effective dishes.
If you are struggling, help is available. You can contact:
Healthy Start (insert link: Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start))
If you are pregnant or have children under the age of 4 you can get help to buy:
- cow’s milk
- fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables
- infant formula milk
- fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
You can also get free Healthy Start vitamins, which can be collected from your local Children’s Centre. (INCLUDE LINK TO Children’s centres | Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council)
In BwD, we also distribute vitamins to ALL pregnant mums and children under 4 regardless of Healthy Start Scheme eligibility – please see your local Children’s Centre for further information.
The BwD Help Hub supports local residents with:
- access to food and essentials
- finance, benefits and debt management
- mental health support
- wellbeing and loneliness
- learning, training and employment
- getting online and using technology
Healthy Weight Declaration
In April 2017, Blackburn with Darwen signed up to Food Active’s Declaration on Healthy Weight. (INCLUDE LINK Food Active | Local Authority Declaration on Healthy Weight) The Healthy Weight Declaration adopts a whole systems approach to promoting good health and well-being in communities.
We advocate for healthy weight environments. We will support initiatives towards this, review our policies and practices and regularly assess their impact. We will work with our partners to promote and support our communities in maintaining a healthy weight.
Breastfeeding Friendly Borough
Blackburn with Darwen became a breastfeeding friendly borough in 2017 as part of the healthy weight declaration, and since then we have been going from strength to strength.
Our maternity services have recently been awarded the UNICEF Gold Baby Friendly accreditation – the first services in the country to achieve this.
BwD Council are fully committed to supporting breastfeeding mums wherever and whenever they need to feed their babies. We want mums in the borough to breastfeed out and about in the borough with full confidence.
Breastfeeding has many benefits for the long-term health, wellbeing and emotional development of children, so supporting mums in giving their children a great start in life is essential.
The breastfeeding-friendly commitment includes supporting local businesses (including leisure centres, restaurants and shopping centres) and public transport partners to provide environments that welcome and provide the space for breastfeeding mothers.
BwD has a fantastic network of local mums, carers and peer supporters who started the ‘BwD Breast Intentions’ group on Facebook. – Breast intentions (BwD infant feeding support) | Facebook) We have also developed a This network provides peer support, encouragement, advice and help to new breastfeeding mums.
To find feeding friendly places search https://bit.ly/3fiy5bd