A group of 40 representatives of independent, grassroots food aid providers came together in Manchester to form
the Independent Food Aid Network in May 2016.
By the end of 2019, our membership has grown significantly and IFAN has established itself as a critical voice calling for change by representing the many hundreds of independent food aid providers including food banks operating across the UK.
IFAN supports, connects and advocates on behalf of its members.
The day-to-day running of IFAN is coordinated by Sabine Goodwin with some help from our volunteers Ashleigh Comber and Katy Gordon as well as with the support of our board of trustees.
Our vision is of a country that doesn’t need emergency food aid and
in which good food is accessible to all.
The Independent Food Aid Network's strategy:
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 added a 3rd principle:
To achieve this vision and meet these aims, IFAN organises its activities in three broad areas:
IFAN from 2016 to 2019:
The idea for the Independent Food Aid Network was developed by 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 in getting IFAN off the ground.
We are very grateful to Chris Sunderland for his contribution in time and wisdom as founder and trustee from 2016 to 2019, to Steph Ellis for her contribution as founder, volunteer and charity secretary from 2016 to 2019 and to Robin Burgess who was trustee then treasurer from 2018 to 2019.
We are also thankful for the invaluable support of volunteers Ren Piercy, Lucy Cullen, Sharon Ball and Dave Beck during 2018.