We caught up with Jacky Close about the Food Insecurity Network and how the creative sector can help Dundee. Right now you can help the Network support people who need it most in Dundee through their GoFundMe.
On 23 March 2020, Jacky and Faith in Community initiated a city-wide response bringing together 24 local grassroots and small community-based projects from across the city, with Senior Managers from Dundee City Council and Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action. They facilitate weekly Zoom meetings with this group, now the Food Insecurity Network, so communities can share what they are struggling with, tailor the support to the local projects and ensure the Council responds in an informed and relevant way. These projects are rooted in their local communities and are the key food providers responding to food emergency and insecurity.
For the last 9 months these projects have been working tirelessly, providing food for 2-3,000 people each week. These are our neighbours, our friends, our family. As we move into our second lockdown in the middle of winter when bills are already higher, staying at home will push more people over the edge and plunge them into poverty.
The Scottish Government, Dundee City Council and local Charitable trusts have all contributed to the cost of food being distributed. But the local projects still need to purchase more food every week to ensure there is enough for each person they see.
For the last 25 years Jacky has developed and managed projects in Glasgow and Dundee with a particular focus on poverty and inequality. She has worked alongside young people, families, asylum seekers/refugees, prisoners and their families, faith communities and others. At the heart of her work is a desire to give people a voice, for the unheard to be heard, and for people with influence to “become comfortable with being uncomfortable”.
She is currently facilitating Dundee Fairness Commission, a participative process rebalancing power dynamics to create a movement for positive social change.
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