In March 2023 Bridging Change published their report into The Food Access Needs of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
SIS immediately responded with suggestion about how we might be able to help take forward some of the recommendations. We have subsequently been working with Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, Brighton & Hove City Council to help make this happen.
Recommendation 2: Ensure that there are translations of what services (signposting materials as referred to in recommendation 10) are offered by foodbanks/ Affordable Food Projects /cafes in the main languages used in Brighton and Hove – a single document that can be shared across all services with additional information for specific organisations.
The B&H Food Partnership took a collaborative approach to co-designing this information leaflet with SIS and other partners such as Network for International Women to ensure the content was appropriate, useful and accessible to the target audience.
SIS has circulated these to 1300 Service Users by sending SMS messages in their language with a link to the full leaflet on the our website. SIS linguists and community contacts have also been alerted. Printed copies are available at community venues and foodbanks. We hope this will help people to understand what help is available and how to gain access.
Recommendation 1: Consider targeted additional support at a foodbank, a ‘Foodbank Plus’, where support and advice on finances, housing and benefits for example. Also support with form filling, understanding letters, signposting to services, advocacy, etc. would make for a more comprehensive service.
This recommendation describes Social Prescribing, a service delivered by SIS as part of the Social Prescribing Plus Partnership. We are commissioned to help meet the social prescribing needs of people from ethnically diverse backgrounds in particular Newcomers (refugees, asylum seekers and migrants). We are in discussion with culturally specific food banks such as those at the BMECP or Al Medinah Mosque about how we could pilot this type of service.