Due to no longer being able to visit the Rhubarb Farm and Waste Not Café to take portraits, I had to rethink my project. However, I didn't want to leave behind all the research and issues I had found, as they remain very important and some situations worsened because of the pandemic. By focusing on the same issues I came up with some questions at the beginning of term 3 to ask myself and the seminar group.
SHOULD I CONTINUE RESEARCH INTO CURRENT TOPICS E.G. FOOD BANKS, SOCIAL ISSUES, UNEMPLOYMENT (IN RELATION TO FOOD CULTURE) BUT LOOK TOWARDS THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THOSE ISSUES? FOR EXAMPLE:
• Support for food banks, less or extra support during these times
• Food support for key workers e.g. NHS workers – is this the right thing to do?
• Food waste – impact of panic buying/stock piling
• Social isolation – people are increasingly lonely during this time, what efforts are being made to prevent loneliness?
• Rhubarb Farm – how are volunteers coping without social interaction and work?
• Waste Not Café - what are they doing to adapt to the situation?
SHOULD I BE CONDUCTING ONLINE INTERVIEWS VIA VIDEO CALL OR MESSAGING? WHAT SHOULD I BE ASKING?
• Still in contact with Waste Not Café - meals are taking place online via Zoom to provide interaction for those who are lonely (everyone eats together and talks)
• Rhubarb Farm still opens small farm shop to sell fresh produce
• Noticed certain opinions made on social media around food banks – should I approach these people so they can develop thoughts further?
CASE STUDY ON FOOD AT LOCAL HOSPITAL?
• Multiple free food deliveries each day e.g. Indian takeaway, Dominos pizza, Easter eggs, cupcakes, cookies, fizzy drinks, crisps, apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, macaroons, fish and chips, pub food, soup, biscuits, tea bags, coffee, bottled water, sweets, loaves of bread, Costa iced coffees, Costa sandwiches, pub snacks
• Each member of hospital staff, since the pandemic, has been provided with a £6 per day food spending allowance whilst on shift. Within the first 6 days of this in place the hospital spent £25,000 just on food for staff. The data only listed 1 banana being purchased within the first 6 days, most of the food items were Cornish pasties, chips and warm sandwiches – should there be concern for the health of NHS workers and money better spent elsewhere?
• Seems unfair that employed people are being provided with an excessive and unnecessary amount of food when there are people suffering in food poverty, and food banks are under more pressure than normal due to COVID-19 circumstances.
IMPORTANT NEWS ARTICLES IN RELATION TO TOPICS OF INTEREST AND COVID-19 AT THE BEGINNING OF LOCKDOWN:
• Worldwide problem with produce being wasted because of food businesses closing
• Indian farmers are feeding their cows strawberries, because they can’t take them to the fruit market to be sold
• In Peru, tonnes of white cocoa is being dumped straight into landfill because the hotels and restaurants that normally buy it are closed
• Farmers in the US and Canada are having to pour milk away because they can't sell it quick enough as there are less businesses operating as normal.
• In the UK furloughed workers are concerned about feeding their children during the pandemic as they are losing 20% of their normal wage and free school meals are uncertain
• Since social-distancing began, Wales have seen an increase in demand for food banks
• Volunteer numbers at food banks are decreasing due to illness and self-isolation
• People have to be referred to food banks, but during the pandemic people have just been turning up as they are so desperate for help.
• Hubbub (environmental charity) survey showed that shopping and eating behaviours have changed since lockdown, there's an increase in family meals and online socialisation
• People are eating smaller portions and ignoring best before dates where it is safe to do so
• There's an increasing amount of people worried about food and struggling to put food on the table, and turning to food banks for the first time
• 57% of people admit to valuing food more now
• 48% are throwing away less food now, and only 5% are actually throwing away more food
• Recent report from the Food Foundation shows 3 million people have gone full days without meals since lockdown
• Bin men were seeing an increased amount of food waste overflowing household bins.
→ EMERGENCY FOOD PARCELS FOR THOSE WHO ARE SHIELDING
• Includes toilet roll, bread, fruit, vegetables, tinned foods, biscuits, pasta
• 50,000 parcels being delivered in first set
• Parcels are for vulnerable people self-isolating for 12 weeks, with no friends or family to help provide food
• Operation like this hasn’t been required since WWII
• Why are people receiving parcels that aren't expecting them or need them? Many are being sent to the food bank as a result.
→ PREVENTING LONELINESS
• #LetsTalkLoneliness public campaign
• Age UK are supported by NHS Volunteer Responders in local communities