• FAQs

    Who can join IFAN?

    The Independent Food Aid Network is open to any independent food aid providers with concerns about the institutionalisation of charitable food aid provisioning in the UK and want to see radical systemic change so that the number of people needing food aid is dramatically reduced.


    Participation in IFAN is open to all independent food aid providers who share its vision, values and principles, but on the understanding that participation in the network by projects/organisations which are members of franchises, or affiliated to, other organisations is subject to these organisations/projects acting as individual entities rather than as representatives of their ‘parent’ organisation. Full membership (including voting rights) of IFAN is restricted to food aid providers that are entirely independent and that agree to abide by its values and principles.


    Who is behind the development of IFAN?

    The development of IFAN is currently coordinated by Sabine Goodwin who is supported by Ashleigh Comber and Katy Gordon and IFAN's Trustees:


    Professor Jon May – Queen Mary University London
    Madeleine Power - University of York (Co-Chair)

    Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite - University of Birmingham

    Deidre Woods - Granville Community Kitchen (Co-Chair)

    Kemi Akinola - Be Enriched and Brixton People's Kitchen

    Rajesh Makwana - SUFRA

    Felicia Boshorin - Central Southwark Community Hub


    Is there a need for our network?

    IFAN consulted with many food aid providers in the lead up to the launch of the network, including holding an event for founding members in Manchester in March 2016 and sending out an online survey in May 2016. Ninety-two percent of the food aid providers surveyed told us that they wanted a network for the following reasons:


    Work to create a society where there is food security for all – 97.8%
    Provide mutual support, and share resources, amongst food aid providers – 95.7%
    Share best practice – 95.7%
    Improve provision for, and access to, people in need of food aid – 93%
    Campaign for change – 91.3%
    Provide a forum and a collective voice for independent, grass roots food aid providers – 91.1%
    Work with and promote the voices of people in need – 88.6%
    Promote critical open-access research – 88.4%

    One of the key reasons for wanting to launch IFAN was the concern that food aid is becoming increasingly institutionalised in the UK, with food banks and other food aid providers being relied upon to feed people. We recognise that many people who work hard to provide food aid are far from happy with this situation and are keen to have a platform to be able to voice these concerns and call for wider systemic change that will eradicate the need for food aid in the first place. IFAN aims to be that platform.


    Finally, the UK Food Poverty Alliance had recently formed in 2016 and we felt that it was vital that the voice of independent food aid providers of all varieties should be heard alongside other leading campaigners and charities in the field.


    Is food security for all a realistic aim?

    The current situation needs to improve in a number of ways if we are ever going to see food security for all. We recognise that this is an aspirational goal rather than something that will happen any time soon. However, we believe that it’s important to send a bold message about the direction of travel we want to head in – if we don’t believe it can happen then it definitely won’t.


    Why refer to the network as ‘independent’?

    The steering group chose to include the word ‘independent’ to reflect the fact that first and foremost we are a membership organisation for local food aid groups who are independent of any national organisation. By referring to the network as being ‘independent’ we are also demonstrating that we are prepared to take our own position on issues as and when necessary, in consultation with our members.


    How is IFAN different from the Trussell Trust foodbank network?

    We recognise that many food banks have chosen not to join the Trussell Trust network for a variety of reasons but are keen to be represented at a national level. There is also a large number of food aid providers that are not food banks, and therefore don’t fit into the Trussell Trust model, that would like to be part of a national network. IFAN is in regular contact with the Trussell Trust, has worked with the network on research into food bank volunteer hours and we collaborate on campaigning work within the End Hunger UK coalition.


    What is IFAN’s relationship to the UK Food Poverty Alliance and End Hunger UK?

    IFAN is a member of the UK Food Poverty Alliance and will continue to support its work where aims and values are consistent with those of IFAN and its members. IFAN is also an active member of the UK Food Poverty Alliance's campaigning arm End Hunger UK, our coordinator Sabine Goodwin has worked on campaigns both on food insecurity and social security issues and is a member of the Partners' Board for the next 3-year phase of the campaign beginning in January 2019.


    How is IFAN funded?

    So far, IFAN has been run on a voluntary basis. We are currently seeking funding for our day-to-day work.


    We are currently working with A Menu for Change to collate independent food parcel distribution data across Scotland. This project is funded by A Menu for Change.


    If your question hasn't been answered above, please contact us at ifan.uk@gmail.com.

    Privacy Statement

    IFAN is committed to protecting your privacy.


    This policy was last updated on the 17th of May 2018.

    Our data protection lead is: Chris Sunderland.

    For more information, please contact: ifan.uk@gmail.com.


    This policy covers any email and contact lists held by the Independent Food Aid Network.


    Data Protection:

    · We will never share your information with another organisation for their own marketing proposes.

    · We will never sell your information.

    · We will be clear, honest and transparent regarding information we collect, and ask specific consent when necessary.


    When do we collect information about you?

    · We only store data that you have given us directly via website form, email, emailed surveys, phone, letter, sign-up sheet or in person.


    What type of information is collected from you?

    · For our general mailing list: we ask for your name, your organisation's name and email address.

    · For membership applications: we ask for your name, organisation name, email address, Twitter name, Facebook name, postal address and organisation type.

    Once a member, we will store your information for the duration of your membership.

    · Where it is appropriate, we will collect or request other information such as:

    - The publications you have downloaded;

    - Details of events you might be holding;

    - Surveys you have completed (sent out via our mailing list)

    · Any sensitive personal data collected for research and advocacy work will be collected with explicit consent.

    · If you attend an IFAN event, your photograph may be taken - you can let us know if you prefer not to be included in any photographs we publish by contacting us at ifan.uk@gmail.com.


    We also collect anonymous information about your visits to our website including your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit and number of page views. This information will remain anonymous and not linked to you individually. Such information helps inform us about how best to organise our website and communications.


    Why do we collect information about you?

    We may not use your personal data for all of the below - this will depend on the level of interaction you have with IFAN:

    1) Campaigning, Promotion and Fundraising:

    - Our email communications are to keep you up-to-date with our latest work, relevant events and useful reports. We may also ask you to take part in surveys, fundraise/donate or provide feedback.

    2) Delivery of core charitable services:

    - Delivery of our core charitable activities may require the recording of our beneficiaries’ contact details, their eligibility for our charitable services, records of financial transactions and communications

    3) Retail Trading:

    - IFAN occasionally holds ticketed events and training workshops. If you attend an event, we may store your personal information to invite you to similar events in the future.

    - IFAN never stores personal financial information, except for employees.



    · Personal information is collected based on individual’s consent.

    · Information is processed based on legitimate interest.

    · We will only send promotional material by email to those who have given consent, usually to send you updates but occasionally to invite you to an event, ask for a donation, to complete a survey or provide feedback.

    · Where you have given us consent to process your data, we will always keep a clear record of how and when this consent was obtained. You can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting: ifan.uk@gmail.com.

    · Most interactions with our supporters, members and beneficiaries are voluntary and not contractual. Contractual interactions include employment and volunteering opportunities.


    Legitimate interest:

    · Applicable law allows personal information to be collected and used if it is reasonably necessary for our legitimate activities at IFAN. These activities are fair, balanced and do not unduly impact individual’s rights.

    · We will always work to these principles and will ask for explicit consent when necessary.


    Storage of data:

    · Unless still required in connection with the purposes for which it was collected, such as a particular campaign, we will usually remove your personal detail ten years after the date it was collected.

    · Data is reviewed annually.

    · If you ask us to stop sending you emails, we will store your information on an ‘unsubscribed’ list to ensure you are not contacted again.

    · You can exercise your ‘right of erasure’ to have your personal information removed completely and immediately.

    · All data will be stored securely using modern software that is kept-up-to-date, with appropriate back-up recovery.

    · Only the necessary people within IFAN will have access to your data and appropriate security is in place to avoid unauthorised sharing of information.


    What are your rights?

    • Right to be informed: you have the right to be told how your personal information will be used.

    • Right of access: you can ask what information we hold on you and to request a copy.

    • Right of erasure: you can request that all your personal information is deleted from our records.

    • Right of rectification: if you believe our records of your personal information are inaccurate, you have the right to ask for those records to be updated.

    • Right to restrict processing: you have the right to ask for processing of your personal data to be restricted if there is disagreement about its accuracy or legitimate usage.

    • Right to data portability: you may ask us to provide your information to you, or another service provider, in a machine-readable format.


    To exercise these rights, please send a description of the information in question to ifan.uk@gmail.com.


    To make a complaint about the way we have processed your data to the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) please see the guidance at https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/personal-information. The contact details of the ICO can be found here:https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/.

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