Lunch Positive, the HIV lunch club, recently took part as a case study in the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership city-wide Eating Together report, exploring the role of lunch clubs and shared meals in Brighton & Hove.
For the first time, this report brings to light the sheer scale of community eating – almost half a million shared meals take place each year at lunch clubs and other community groups in the city.
The research highlights the largely unrecognised role that these groups are playing in addressing food poverty, in reducing social isolation, in contributing to good nutrition and health, in offering advice, acting as a gateway to other services, and involving people in volunteering.
Also, the recently published Annual Report of the Director of Public Health of Brighton & Hove gives an independent assessment of the health of the people in the city. This year’s ‘LOOK Inequality’ report explores health inequality in Brighton & Hove, and incorporates a focus on food poverty and the role of community projects to address this.
Gary Pargeter, Volunteer Project Manager at Lunch Positive, said: “We were delighted to take part as a case study for the Eating Together report, where researchers talked to our volunteers and members. There is no doubt that food poverty still exists and is likely to increase in the light of welfare reforms, low wage and the very high cost of living in the locality.
“Lunch Positive is a totally unique service within our community, and we’re incredibly pleased to see that these reports also reflect the much wider benefits of lunch cubs as a result of the community space they provide.
“For us it’s all about community – making people feel welcome, sharing meals, spending time together, supporting each other, involving and supporting other organisations, and of course volunteering.
“For people who haven’t yet come to Lunch Positive, or are unsure what we do, it’s a community space that is all about the people that are here. It’s informal and welcoming – a place to get something healthy and affordable to eat, or just drop in for a coffee. A safe place for people with HIV to spend time with peers and just be yourself. We want the lunch club to be your space, to help however it can.”
For information about Lunch Positive, click here:
To read the Eating Together report, click here:
To read the LOOK Inequality report, click here:
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