FRC Workstream 3 News Round-up June 2018

FRC Workstream 3 News Round-up

June 2018

Identification of topics for evidence-based practical guidance

Topic identification began with a session at the Sustainable Food Cities (SFC) national conference in June 2017.  Following further discussions with the SFC network and others, the following topics have been identified – cooking skills, engaging local independent food stores in healthy food initiatives, experts by experience and food hubs.  Work has started on all four topics.

Cooking skills

The FRC is working with Sustainable Food Cities to produce evidence-based practical guidance on cooking skills to be used at the local level by community based practitioners and local authority commissioners.  The intention is for the guidance to support those implementing or supporting cooking skills projects know “what works” and how to “make the case” for funding cooking skills projects.

1st FRC Cooking skills Project Team meeting – 4 December 2017

The first FRC Cooking Skills Project Team meeting was held in December 2017. Information was shared on the current situation of commissioning and supporting cooking skills projects in England, Wales and Scotland.  It was agreed that the intended evidence based guidance should focus on the identification and measurement of project outcomes and also help “make the case” for supporting cooking skills projects.

FRC call to join Cooking Skills email group – March 2018

The FRC invites all those with experience in implementing, supporting or researching community based cooking skills projects to join our Cooking Skills email group.  Joining this groups means we will keep you in touch with the work we are doing on developing guidance for cooking skills.  We may also invite your support in terms of sharing relevant documents and knowledge, or to ask for your feedback on what we are doing.

To date (11 June 2016) we have 44 people registered for this email group.

To join, please contact

Cooking skills workshop – 29 April 2018

28 participants with expertise in supporting, delivering or researching cooking skills projects attended an FRC cooking skills workshop on 29 April 2018.  The purpose was for those attending to contribute to the production of FRC evidence based guidance on the identification and measurement of community based cooking skills project outcomes. The findings of an initial FRC evidence review on “what works” for cooking skills projects was presented by the authors Martin Caraher and Ada Garcia. Discussion was had on current challenges experienced by practitioners and commissioners and their differing priorities for the planned guidance – workshop news item.

Engaging independent local food shops in healthier food provision

Following the demand for guidance on how to work with local food businesses at the SFC conference in 2016, a preliminary review of the literature identified an evidence and good practice gap on the “engagement process” with local food retail stores (convenience stores, corner shops) taking part in local healthy food provision initiatives.  The FRC has now started primary research to identify effective strategies for such engagement.  This will involve interviews with practitioners and stores involved in such initiatives.

Experts by experience

In response to the high demand for guidance on how to most effectively engage and support those experiencing food poverty, the FRC held discussions with Sustain and Church Action on Poverty to identify topics that might support their joint “Food Power” programme.  The empowerment of those experiencing food poverty from their participation in local food poverty alliance work as “experts by experience” was chosen as a suitable topic.  At present two Food Policy Masters students at City, University of London are exploring the evidence on the use of experts by experience in food poverty projects as their dissertation topic. Once completed, next steps will be announced.

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