Access to Food

Everyone in our society should have access to food. Too many people are trapped in the grip of poverty and find themselves unable to meet one of their most basic needs; food. By working together in West Lothian, we can help individuals to access the right help and support to ensure their needs are met.

Many people are turning to emergency food provision, such as food banks, to ensure that they can put food on the table.  Between April 2018 and March 2019, almost 3000 West Lothian Foodbank vouchers were issued to individuals and families to keep them from going hungry. 

A number of organisations and projects exist across West Lothian with the aim of addressing food insecurity. Innovative community initiatives such as communal fridges and pantries, shared meals and community gardens are helping to provide an invaluable lifeline to people struggling to keep their head above water. 

Tackling Food Insecurity in West Lothian

West Lothian Council has set aside £150,000 to help towards reducing food insecurity. This will be used to fund a range of activity designed to move from crisis intervention to longer term intervention;

West Lothian Food Network

Work has already started in establishing a West Lothian Food Network and brings together organisations and individuals to improve responses to food poverty and insecurity in West Lothian

The Network will support organisations to work with priority groups to:

  • Ensure no one in West Lothian has to go hungry
  • Everyone has what they need to eat one healthy meal a day
  • Everyone experiencing food hunger has access to financial advice and support

We invite applications from organisations who wish to take the lead in supporting, developing and co-ordinating the work of the network.  West Lothian Council have set aside £90,000 for this two year time limited project. More information can be found in the Icon for word West Lothian Food Network project specification [26.4KB] document and interested parties should complete and return an Icon for word application form [70.17KB] along with supporting documentation by Thursday 9th April 2020 at 5pm.

The Big Lunch

The Big Lunch is a national event supported through the Eden Project and the National Lottery.  The idea is to invite people to open their doors, get to know each other a little better, have fun and enjoy some nutritious food. Funding is available to develop Big Lunch activity at a community level. The fund is to enable local organisations to host an event which includes food:

  • to encourage and support vulnerable groups to engage and participate
  • to reduce food insecurity by providing nutritious and healthy food
  • to promote the principles of food with dignity and reduce stigma

Although the national Big Lunch is hosted in the first week in June, the West Lothian fund will support applications throughout the year to a maximum of £100. Interested groups should complete a Icon for word Big Lunch Fund application form [71.63KB] and return it to anti.poverty@westlothian.gov.uk

Access to Food Interactive Map

Use the map below to find details of food projects in your local area: