A new campaign launching in Bristol today aims to highlight the central role food plays in people’s lives, not only during lockdown, but also as a vital part of the city’s recovery from COVID-19.
Bristol Bites Back Better will give everyone the means to participate in the city’s food system, beyond their weekly shop. It will provide individuals, communities, organisations and food businesses a way to access information, share ideas, and hear stories from across the city about food.
It also encourages people to discover how they can use food to improve their physical and mental health, build a stronger local economy, protect the environment, and celebrate Bristol’s cultural diversity.
Deputy Mayor, Councillor Asher Craig, said: “In a year marked by uncertainty, the one thing that touches all our lives is food; how we access it, and how we experience it in our families and communities.
“Bristol is a pioneering city when it comes to sustainable approaches to food, but not everyone has had the opportunity to participate in the conversation about what good food means to them, or to share their thoughts on what changes they would like to see to make food in our city better in the future.
“With Bristol Bites Back Better, we’re inviting everyone in the city to explore how food can make our lives and our city better, and to hear from communities across the city about how they’re using food to get through these times.”
People can visit the Bristol Bites Back Better website to find resources and inspiration for making simple changes in the way they shop, cook, eat and dispose of food, while organisations and food businesses can discover their role in building a stronger food system for the city.
Individuals and organisations are encouraged to share their own insights and stories using the hashtag #BiteBackBetter.
Several of the lifestyle changes that the Bristol Bites Back Better campaign advocates for as part of a more resilient, healthy and sustainable approach to food, are behaviours that have become a part of lockdown life for many people across Bristol. These include growing food at home, cooking more meals from scratch, making the most of the food available, and finding ways to support local food businesses.
Access to food has been a particular focus for Bristol during the pandemic, with organisations such as Feeding Bristol providing support in tackling food insecurity, with over 125 community organisations involved in the emergency food response.
Anira Khokhar, Community Engagement Lead for Bristol Bites Back Better will be piloting a programme to connect younger people with food in their communities.
Anira said: “In order to ensure that the discussion around sustainable food continues to go from strength to strength, young people must be included in the decision making process. This is why we will be introducing the Bristol Bites Back Better Young Leaders programme, with the aim of recruiting four young people who will reflect the diversity of our city. The programme will provide a platform for young people to learn lifelong skills, participate, share stories, and shape the impact of food in their own and wider communities.”
The partnership behind the new campaign—Bristol Food Network, Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Bristol City Council, and Resource Futures—hopes to see the city recognised as a Gold Sustainable Food City in spring next year.
Bristol launched its bid for the award, known as Bristol Going for Gold, last year, laying the foundation for a healthier, more resilient and inclusive food community over the coming decade. Individuals and organisations taking part in the Bristol Bites Back Better campaign will be contributing to the final bid and helping to secure the award for the city.
Visit www.bristolbitesbackbetter.co.uk to explore resources, discover stories, and participate in the conversation on social media using the hashtag #BiteBackBetter. New visitors to the website have a chance of winning £25 of food shopping when they answer two short questions. For a chance to win, entries must be received before 15 December 2020.