CUMBERLAND residents are encouraged to complete a survey to help the local council and researchers have a better understanding of food insecurity in the area.
The Food Insecurity measured at a Local Level (FILL) survey seeks to measure the extent to which people in Cumberland are struggling to access food - whether for financial or other reasons – and what kinds of support services (if any) they use.
Until now local authorities, such as Cumberland Council, have had to rely solely on data from food banks and community groups in the local area to measure food insecurity. This can mask the true scale of the situation as not everyone who might otherwise benefit accesses these services.
The survey is available to everyone living in Cumberland over the age of 18 and the team encourages one adult per household to take part, regardless of whether they have experienced food insecurity or not.
To complete the survey go online, or ring 0800 073 0348 where it can be completed over the phone. Participants also have the chance to be entered into a free prize draw to win gift vouchers of up to £100.
Cumberland Council has a strong commitment to improving access to good quality food which is why it has been chosen as one of three areas to pilot the survey. The council agreed its Food Cumberland Strategic Framework at the end of October, setting out how it will address many of the issues related to food.
The results will help better understand the situation in the Cumberland area and identify what can be done to ensure every household gets the support they need.
Cllr Lisa Brown, deputy leader at Cumberland Council, said: “We have a strong commitment at Cumberland Council to address this issue which goes back to our Right to Food motion agreed in 2022. This is why I’m so pleased that we are part of this pilot project.
“Therefore, I’d encourage everyone to complete the survey whether they are facing issues accessing food or not as it will provide a much more complete picture of the current situation.
“By better understanding the issue, we’ll be able to take the actions required to really target those who require our help.”
The survey is being led by Dr Rachel Loopstra at the University of Liverpool in partnership with the council and researchers from the universities of Sheffield, Lincoln, Northumbria and the Independent Food Aid Network. This project has been funded by the University of Liverpool’s Partnership and Innovation Fund.
Residents have until the 21 December 2023 to complete the survey.