Food and our Future

 

Two males working in foodbank

image: theguardian.com

The Lunar Society, in association with Localise West Midlands, Birmingham Leadership Foundation, Midland Heart and the Nishkam Centre, is holding a panel discussion to stimulate debate on the importance of issues related to food to the future of the West Midlands region, its people and its businesses on Wednesday 14th May 2014 at 6.30 pm for 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm at the Nishkam Centre, 6 Soho Road.

The questions that will be addressed at the first event of this joint initiative are:

  • Why are we seeing a growth in the number of food banks and the numbers who depend on them across the West Midlands Region at at the same time as we face a growing obesity epidemic, much of it within our younger population?
  • What do we actually know about the extent of these issues and their causes?
  • What can we do locally to mitigate negative consequences and what local, national and international trends do we have to consider in the short, medium and long term?

The joint organisers said:

“Developments in the production, distribution and consumption of food will have profound consequences for our future lives. As well as the food poverty, access and health issues, which will be covered by this first event, they also impact on our environment, on climate change (and vice versa) and on our confidence that we know what we are eating.

“As citizens and in our work lives we need to develop our understanding of the international, national and local dynamics of food supply and demand, of the infrastructure of food production and distribution, and of our ability to acces food to enable healthy lifestyles. We need to debate the impact of these on our current and future lives, and agree what action is needed by whom to offset negative impacts and encourage positive ones. ”

Starting the discussion will be speakers Chris Mould, executive chairman of the foodbank charity, Trussell Trust, Adrian Phillips, Birmingham’s director of public health and Liz Dowler, professor of food and social policy at Warwick University and a trustee of the Food Ethics Council.

Kate Cooper, incoming chair of the Birmingham Food Council, will be chairing the event.

This event is free to attend, but places are limited and must be booked in advance via Eventbrite. A contribution on the evening to refreshments provided will be welcome.

You can follow the event on Twitter #foodfuture.

 

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Bishop opens “Hunger Hut” to launch End Hunger Fast Birmingham

Hunger Hut in Cathedral Square

The Rt Revd David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, opened a “Hunger Hut” outside Birmingham Cathedral in Colmore Row on Wednesday 5th March 2014 to launch the End Hunger Fast campaign in the city.

End Hunger Fast is a national campaign, focused around the traditional Christian fasting season of Lent, which seeks to petition the Government to put an end to widespread food poverty in the UK.

Bishop David was one of 27 Anglican Bishops who signed a letter calling on Government to address the growing amount of hunger in the country as part of the campaign in February.

The Bishop, who chairs the Birmingham Social Inclusion Process, Giving Hope Changing Lives, has criticized the effect that increasing levels of poverty are having on individuals and families throughout Britain, saying that it is “a scandal” that in the seventh richest nation in the world, more than half a million people have needed to use a food bank in the last year and thousands have been admitted to hospital suffering from malnutrition.

As part of the campaign there will be a National Day of Fasting on Friday 4th April and a vigil in Parliament Square on Wednesday 16th April.

To pledge to join the National Day of Fasting, go to the End Hunger Fast website.

For more information about how to get involved in the campaign in Birmingham, visit the Birmingham Churches Together website.