Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum – Inter Faith Week 2023: Food Poverty

Tuesday, 14th November 20236:00 pm - 8:00 pmTramshed Community Hub, Digby Street , London, E2 0LS


Food poverty is defined as the inability to afford, or to have access to, food to make up a healthy diet. Tower Hamlets remains one of the poorest boroughs in London, with one of the highest rates of poverty in the country, 39 percent or more people living in poverty in the Borough. Tower Hamlets also has the highest rates of child poverty in the UK, and highest rates of elderly people in the country who live in low income households.

As the Cost of Living crisis continues, more families are facing the associated problems, including food poverty.

In April 2023, the Council published findings of their Scrutiny Review of Food Insecurity in the borough, making various recommendations including more work needs to be done on issues including better collaboration and communication and more work with the private sector, the need for ‘wraparound services’ at foodbanks, and improving the nutritional quality of food provided these services.

The Council have made positive steps in addressing poverty, the root cause of food insecurity, including becoming the first borough to introduce free school meals for both primary and secondary pupils, holding Holiday Food programmes, and running a Food Hub and Food Store Network.

But does this go far enough? What is still needed by grassroots food providers to support people that need them?

Join us to hear a panel discussion with:

  • Cost of Living Support & Food Insecurity – Vincent Wood, Senior Cost of Living Officer, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • Warm Welcome Spaces – Reverend James Olanipekun, Christ Apostolic Church and THIFF Steering Group
  • Panel discussion on food insecurity: Challenges and Solutions – with Sister Christine Frost MBE and founder of Neighbours in Poplar, Joanna Read, CEO at Bow Foodbank and Vincent Wood, Senior Cost of Living Officer, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • Q&A – Put your questions and comments to the panel
  • Tower Hamlets Engagement Strategy – Jaber Khan, Senior Strategy and Policy Officer, Corporate Strategy and Communities, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • plus an interactive activity with Fair Future UK. 

Can the council do more to empower local grassroots organisations through grants, food, and equipment?

  • How can there be better collaboration and communication between all stakeholders?
  • How can services be equipped to offer a wraparound service
  • Has collaboration with the private sector improved?
  • How can small faith settings be supported to start their own foodbank?

Have your say too! There will be space for open discussion and to put your questions and comments to the panel.

  • Do you have ideas for how foodbanks can be improved?
  • What are your experiences of using food services?
  • What does true partnership working mean to you?


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