A public debate about food and nutrition in Bolton will be broadcast live from the town centre next week.
Members of the public will be joined by representatives from the local housing, charity, business and healthcare sectors in a bid to garner people’s views and opinions about food supply in the town and to help people on low incomes eat well.
The ‘Who Cares About Our Food?’ event takes place on Thursday, September 24 at Bolton Market Lifestyle Hall. It has been organised by the Who Cares Network in collaboration with Bolton at Home, Bolton FM, Johnson Fold Media, Bolton Market and Edwin Pink TV.
Producer on the project, Edwin Pink, said: “The aim is for people to pose questions, offer solutions, listen and be listened to. By addressing and highlighting the societal issues around food, the project will encourage the people of Bolton to make a difference.
“Recently, I was filming at local food bank Urban Outreach’s production facility, watching volunteers produce 1,200 free packed lunches a day for children across Bolton. It was food production on an industrial scale to provide a free lunch for children who might be going hungry without it. Not only does this show the current scale of problems surrounding food, it also highlights the amazing work being done to address this.”
Dave Bagley, chief executive of Urban Outreach, added: “Food is more than something we just eat – it’s a joyful necessity that we often take for granted. I want to create a passion for good food so that those with little money can still eat well. Food poverty is not just about lack of food, it is poverty of knowledge and access to good food.
“This debate project is a great way to share knowledge and become part of the conversation, as we all need food.”
As a community media project, ‘Who Cares About Our Food?’ aims to build on the local passion to provide innovative responses to food poverty, food waste and food growing.
Tony Cottam, neighbourhood manager for Bolton at Home, said: “Food poverty has never been as great in Breightmet, an area of Bolton which is classed as a ‘food desert’, which means there is nowhere in the neighbourhood where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables. We’re trying to address that by bringing food into people’s lives, but in a practical way by teaching them to grow food in their gardens and in communal areas.
“The current messages around healthy eating and food are not working. We have issues around food poverty but at the same time issues with obesity. The event is a great way to kick off a conversation in Bolton about how we could tackle some of the food issues that are around.”
The event is the latest instalment of the Who Cares Network’s public conversations and follows the success of February’s ‘Who Cares About The General Election?’ event, which saw more than 40 people, including local MPs gather at the market to put forward their views surrounding the UK’s political system.
The Who Cares Network is a project that aims to bridge the gap between the community and the media by bringing people together through discussion. The project focuses on face-to-face conversation that takes place in a communal space in order to allow people to voice their thoughts and get their questions answered.
Adam Slater, chairman and producer of Johnson Fold FM, said: “Johnson Fold FM is a community radio station, priding itself on giving the public a chance to voice their opinions. The ‘Who Cares About Our Food?’ project certainly reflects what we’re all about and we are thrilled to be a part of it.
Live debates such as this demonstrate the significance of giving the everyday person a platform from which to speak up and be counted.”
The ‘Who Cares About Our Food?’ debate will take place on Thursday, September 24 at Bolton Market Lifestyle Hall between 5-6pm with refreshments and food from 4:30pm. For more information visit www.boltonathome.org.uk/news/who-cares-about-our-food-2119
To register for the event visit www.eventbrite.com/e/who-caresabout-our-food-tickets-18469794653
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