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TitleFree and Affordable Meals Provision - Soft Market Testing Exercise
Contract Reference Numbern/a
InformationStoke-on-Trent City Council Public Health Division wish to explore the potential interest in developing the free and affordable meals provision in the City as part of work taking place to tackle food insecurity. The City Council is therefore carrying out a soft market testing exercise to obtain feedback on the Councils proposed ideas to meet this provision as set out below. Needs assessment and consultation The provision currently in place is accessed by considerable numbers of people but limited geographically. From indicative data and the informed opinion of organisations providing free meals and food locally, it is highly likely that need exists across the City. This need was acknowledged through last year's Appetite for Change conference, an event convened by Public Health to consider issues of food insecurity and the food system locally. Increasing access to affordable, good food and reducing food poverty, in the context of building a healthier and more sustainable local food system with community action at the heart, emerged as key priorities. Commissioning intention The intention is to commission the expansion of free and affordable meals provision across the City, building on and supporting the initiatives already in place and working if possible with those already involved. Whilst activity should be locally led in this way, any provider would be expected to work with an established national partner to secure the long-term supply of surplus food to both new and existing projects, which would support the viability and sustainability of all such provision, as well as reduce food waste. The provider would also be encouraged to draw on the wider expertise of such a partner organisation, for example in establishing, running and maintaining free and affordable meals projects. The expansion of activity would involve the development of new projects outside the Central area of the City, based in communities with high levels of need and targeting these using the Index of Multiple Deprivation and insight from Stoke-on-Trent Food Bank, information which would be shared by Public Health. The aim would be to establish a minimum of four new projects over two years, with the aim of reaching the following groups: People and families experiencing food insecurity, including: - where children are eligible for free school meals and school holiday hunger may be an issue - people and families on the lowest incomes People experiencing other forms of vulnerability and exclusion that may put them at risk of food insecurity, e.g. asylum seekers and refugees, people with poor mental health or mental health problems, people who are homeless, and people with addiction problems. People experiencing loneliness and isolation, in particular older community members In keeping with existing local approaches and in line with public health outcomes, new affordable meals projects would be expected to: - Provide food on a free or pay what you can basis - Provide healthy and nutritionally balanced meals, using vegetarian ingredients to allow access by the widest possible community - Use primarily surplus food supplies - Serve meals in a warm and welcoming, non-stigmatising environment that encourages social contact and access by a wide community, including families with children - Be delivered by volunteers - Make use the low-cost or free kitchen and dining spaces - Offer opportunities for guests to contribute - through donations or volunteering their time, including for fund-raising - Offer opportunities for guests to connect with services that may help them address health and social issues, including the causes of their food insecurity - Operate during school holidays and actively seek to reach families of children that qualify for free school meals during these times. - Signpost guests to other relevant food-related projects and services e.g. cook and eat courses, Food Bank and other community cafes. Outcomes The intended outcomes of this provision would include: - A reduction in food insecurity and inequalities in access to fresh and nutritious food in the communities served. - Healthier communities, in which loneliness and social isolation are reduced, more people are eating more healthily, and more people are accessing support that can help address the causes of their difficulties Further information and registering an interest The soft market testing exercise seeks to gauge the degree and nature of interest in the City Council's ideas for developing the free and affordable meals provision in Stoke-on-Trent You are required to provide a response document which records your interest and provides feedback on the Council's ideas. Please submit your response document to louise.eltringham@stoke.gov.uk by Monday 7th September at 17:00. We may follow this up with a bidder's day for interested parties. NOTE: This request for expressions of interest does not form part of a procurement process. The City Council is simply conducting a soft market testing exercise and, depending on the circumstances (including the results of this exercise) the Council may conduct a procurement process in due course. However, the Council does not in any way commit itself to conducting such a procurement process.
Award CriteriaOther
Is the opportunity suitable for small and medium businessesYes
This is being advertised on the Stoke-on-Trent City Council website, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Closing Date/Time07/09/2015 17:00:00
Contract Start Date
Contract End Date
Contact DetailsLouise Eltingham
01782 233535
louise.eltringham@stoke.gov.uk

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