Cheshire East Food Network

The Cheshire East Food Network started in June 2020 looking to bid together for DEFRA funding. The Network formally launched in August 2020 to map organisations across Cheshire East who are running community cafes, food banks and food grocery services.

Join us at our next network meeting

The next meeting for this network will be confirmed shortly. You can always join the network's mailing list here to receive an invite directly to your inbox once the next meeting has been scheduled.


  Search the Cheshire East Food Network Directory to find your local service

Our Previous Meetings:

Wednesday 16th March 2022, Zoom virtual meeting

At this Cheshire East Food Network meeting, we were pleased to have Jane Emery from the Trussell Trust, who delivered training on the 'Worrying About Money?’ Leaflet in Cheshire East, which was the main content of discussion in the meeting. Updates were given about the two new 'Crisis Cafes' in Cheshire East that focus on the mental health crisis. Updates were given on training that was available in Cheshire West, as well as information sharing and issues between food organisations. An area that was highlighted to discuss in a future meeting was the local farming industry in relation to food waste and linking up with local food banks and social supermarkets. It has also already been arranged that we will have a guest speaker from ‘HIS Food’ food distribution charity at the next meeting.

Wednesday 26th January 2022, Zoom virtual meeting

At this Cheshire East Food Network meeting, following on from identified need from the previous meeting around practical support, the CVS arranged for Andrew Luisis, Marketing & Communications Manager to attend to discuss with the group how food banks/social supermarkets etc could promote their offer at the same time as reducing any stigma associated with their services. It was also identified that referral pathways were not easy for someone in a crisis to understand. Updates were also given about the Healthy Start Scheme, in particular for non-British Citizens which were clarified. An update was given about progress on the 'Cash First' Leaflet for Cheshire East. Jane Emery from the Trussell Trust offered to deliver training and present the leaflet at the next meeting. It was also identified that there was a need to look at the offer in relation to ethnic minority groups across Cheshire East. Cheshire East Council also announced some funding to host a 'Food Poverty Coordinator' looking at running the opportunity through Cheshire Community Foundation. Update to follow.

Wednesday 17th November 2021, Zoom virtual meeting

At this Cheshire East Food Network, the main content of discussion focused on practical support needed for food provision organisations, which highlighted challenges around potential service users feel embarrassed to access food banks/money advice services, and as a result, some organisations are not seeing as much of an increase in referrals as they would expect at this time of year. Issues were raised about the publicity of services in local areas that are available for people who need it the most, and publicity around the positive use of food banks and social supermarkets/food pantries, reducing the stigma associated with attending. It was raised that there is a need for food providers to look at the provision for minority groups in particular BAME groups, so an invite would be sent to organisations with this focus to attend the next meeting. Discussion around current promotional resources that service users have access to e.g. Live Well – Emergency Assistance services – Money Matters etc which don’t seem to be as easy/direct to find. There were useful insights shared with each other, and could potentially be used to identify the need for infrastructure funding in the future.

 Wednesday 22nd September 2021, Zoom virtual meeting

At this Cheshire East Food Network we were pleased to have Steve Wells from the Rapid Relief Team as a guest speaker, who delivered a presentation about his charity and how they can support organisations in Cheshire East by providing two types of support: Reactive and Proactive. On the reactive side, they will support and respond to emergency need at very quick notice including supporting the emergency services, and on the proactive side, they support local charities, schools and other youth groups to provide what is needed for their events, awareness days and other needs within the community. They delivered a recent proactive event at Flag Lane Baths, providing a 'field kitchen' of over 600 BBQ meals free of charge for the Crewe community. Jane Emery from the Trussell Trust also provided an introductory update on plans for a new 'Cash First Leaflet' for Cheshire East.