London's food response to Covid-19

London's food response to Covid-19
London's food response to Covid-19
26 November 2020
A new report from Sustain's London Food Link team has found London councils with strong food foundations are better equipped for a quick response to the ever-changing pandemic.

Merging the annual Beyond the Food Bank and Good Food for London reports, the Response, Resilience and Recovery report looks holistically at the foundations that councils had in place before the pandemic, how councils built on these to coordinate the local emergency response, and whether councils are ensuring greater food resilience as part of their recovery plan.

Overall findings were:

  • Where councils had strong foundations prior to Covid-19, they were able to build on these to quickly develop sound emergency responses.
  • Many councils forged new ways of working during Covid-19, and this is informing the recovery phase.
  • Some councils are so stretched that they are having to rely too much on the voluntary and community sector, which is itself under severe strain.
  • Councils have realised the importance of a diverse and resilient food supply. 

The report calls on London councils to take a number of actions including supporting and investing in a food poverty alliance or food partnership, taking a cash-first approach to tackling food poverty, supporting local food production, as well as working with smaller and medium size retailers and markets to increase access to healthy and sustainable food.