Gathering on the Margins – 7 April

On Tuesday we had another of our weekly Gatherings on the Margins, this time focusing especially on the issue of food insecurity.

We are having these gatherings every Tuesday at 2 pm. Join us on Zoom to connect with people across the country to hear each other’s stories, discuss issues that we are facing and share advice.

These gatherings seek to provide connection, inspiration, news, encouragement and ideas for action for people across the country who are concerned about or seeking to respond to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on people and communities on the margins.

On Tuesday we were joined by Kay Johnson from the Lancashire Larder, who told us about how they have turned their café into a service for delivering cooked meals to people. The Larder are also running a scheme during the school holidays for families in Preston that would usually access free school meals. They are providing these families with ingredient packs and daily video recipes, so the kids can cook their own healthy meals. You can find out more about the Lancashire Larder here.

We heard from Bernadette Askins about how a foodbank in South Tyneside is adapting to the higher demand  and increased difficulty in accessing food supply, while doing what they can to keep everyone safe. They are now doing deliveries for people who have to isolate and who have no car, so they don’t have to use public transport. They have also started delivering Family Food Packs with five days’ worth of food.

Tricia, from Bridging the Gap, filled us in on various different projects in Glasgow that are keeping people connected and providing food for those who need it.

Ben Pearson told us about some of the experiences of some young people that he works with in Lancashire. They would usually have free school meals, but the replacements are not accessible. For example, where the school had provided supermarket vouchers, access to the internet and email was required to receive them, and the use of a printer and paper in order use them in shops. Furthermore, the vouchers are only valid in the mainstream supermarkets, which are not accessible to those who do not live near them.

Overall, this gathering gave people the opportunity to express their frustrations about the way that lockdown makes accessing food so much more difficult for some people. But, despite all our frustrations, we ended on a positive note. James Henderson from Transforming Communities Together told us about the #peopleofhope initiative, which is aiming to spread positivity and hope. You can here him talking about it here:

We also heard from Matt Sowerby, our Poet in Digital Residence. He wants to hear people’s stories and experiences so he can work with you on expressing them creatively. You can contact him by email at, or on Twitter: @matt_sourbee, if you want to get involved.

The next gathering will be on Tuesday 14 April, on the theme of people with disabilities. You can join us on Zoom by clicking the link below:

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