• About Us

    IFAN is a network of independent, grassroots food aid providers. There are many hundreds of food aid providers across the UK which, until 2016, have had no national representation and we believe that by bringing them together we are in process of creating a powerful voice for change.


    A group of people involved in local food aid provision came together to form the network in May 2016 following an event held in Manchester. This event brought together 40 food aid providers to find out what they wanted from a new UK network.


    After drafting a set of aims for the network, a survey was sent to food aid providers to get their views, enabling us to launch the network with a vision that we know truly represents those of our founding members.


    Any questions? Read our FAQs or contact us directly.





    IFAN envisions a UK where everyone can eat good food and food aid is no longer necessary.



    • Connecting members to each other - Independent food aid providers of all kinds will be better connected to each other.  
    • Connecting members to knowledge - An established member network will enable us to provide a variety of learning opportunities, support current research and shape future research. This will result in our members and the entire sector being more informed, leading to an increase in the quality of grassroots services and strengthening advocacy efforts.
    • Connecting members to advocates - We will support organisations targeting national policy change to alleviate poverty. To do this we will encourage members to take on advocacy roles, as well as link our members to relevant advocacy organisations.


    While working to achieve our objectives we will:

    • Be critical creative and experimental - Members of IFAN are encouraged to explore new and creative ways to identify and address problems of food poverty and the deep personal and societal changes which may be necessary to achieve food security. Responses to food poverty must aim to transform the situation, not perpetuate the problem, and IFAN expects its members to explore and to encourage different ways of working and to have an open, inclusive, learning attitude that questions accepted ways of doing things.
    • Generate a culture of openness and respect for difference - Members of IFAN must be open to and respect different approaches to achieving food security. To improve provision, food aid providers must learn from each other and IFAN exists in part to provide a forum for its members to discuss – in a critical but supportive manner – these different approaches.


    The following principles are at the foundation of everything we do:

    • We recognise the importance of good food and wellbeing - IFAN recognises that growing food, taking food beyond the cash economy and connecting with nature, contributes to individual and community health and provides space for wider civic engagement
    • We recognise the complexity of food need - IFAN recognises that food poverty almost always presents as one amongst a set of needs.
    • We acknowledge the need for structural change in society - IFAN recognises that food poverty is the result of a complex set of structural issues relating but not restricted to problems of insecure, inadequate and expensive housing, insecure and low paid employment, insufficient social welfare provision, poor health, and environmentally unsustainable and socially unjust food production and distribution system.
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