Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to give £5m to food-related charities

Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the foundation, says it wants applications from projects set up to explore the relationship between food, poverty and sustainability

Dawn Austwick
Dawn Austwick

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has launched a £5m fund for charities that work on food-related causes.

The foundation, which awards total funding of between £30m and £35m a year, has invited applications from organisations that work to understand and investigate the role food plays in wellbeing and the relationship between food, sustainability and poverty.

The funding is open to both large-scale strategic or policy-led organisations and those working on innovative local projects. The programme will operate until at least the end of 2015.

A spokeswoman for the foundation said there was no set minimum or maximum amount that organisations could apply for.

The foundation has in the past supported charities set up to gain more understanding of the impact of food on people, communities and the environment.

It awarded a total of £3m between 2009 and 2012 to such charities. For example, Food Cycle, which uses surplus food to create meals for people affected by food poverty, was given £141,000 over 36 months; Incredible Edible was given £10,100 over 12 months to help it spread its community food growing scheme from Todmorden, West Yorkshire, to other parts of the UK; and Sustain was awarded £219,999 for its Campaign for Better Hospital Food.

Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the foundation, said: "There is an increasing recognition that what and how people eat is intrinsically linked to factors such as poverty and wellbeing, while also affecting the world we live in.

"We’re keen to attract and explore applications that pioneer approaches to understanding the interplay between these issues, and ultimately try to improve access to good quality food and encourage more sustainable methods of production."

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