A group of 40 representatives of independent, grassroots food aid providers came together to form the network in May 2016 at an event held in Manchester. There are many hundreds of independent food aid providers including food banks across the UK which, until 2016, have had no national representation.
We believe that by bringing them together we are in process of creating a powerful voice for change.
Our vision is of a country that doesn’t need emergency food aid and in which good food is accessible to all.
This strategy sets out how IFAN seeks to realise this vision and achieve its aims whilst upholding the core principles first outlined when founded in 2016.
IFAN’s vision is of a UK where everyone can eat good food and food aid is no longer necessary.
To fulfil this vision, IFAN has three main aims:
Underpinning these aims, IFAN is driven by two key principles:
As both IFAN and the wider emergency food aid sector has continued to grow, for the sake of clarity of our working principles, we have now added a 3rd principle:
To achieve this vision and meet these aims, IFAN organises its activities in three broad areas:
The idea for the Independent Food Aid Network was developed Seb Mayfield in collaboration with Steph Ellis, Jon May and Chris Sunderland following Seb's visit to Canada where food banks have existed for decades. Seb saw the potential for an alternative approach to food poverty as practised in Canada through Community Food Centres, published a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust report on the subject and we are grateful to him for his hard work and commitment to getting IFAN off the ground.
Many thanks as well to Ren Piercy, Lucy Cullen, Sharon Ball and Dave Beck for their valuable help as volunteers.We are also very grateful to Chris Sunderland for his enormous contribution in time and wisdom as trustee from 2016 to 2019.