Local independent food bank information:
Sabine Goodwin, Coordinator
Sabine was formerly a television news and investigative journalist and has worked with IFAN since February 2017. As a food bank volunteer, Sabine became aware of the scarcity of information available on independent food banks working outside of the Trussell Trust network. She approached the newly formed IFAN with a plan to create a database of independent food banks working across the UK and the list was first published in The Guardian in May 2017. Since 2018, Sabine has coordinated the day-to-day running of IFAN and has been responsible for the network's research and advocacy work. During 2019, she worked with Dr Rachel Loopstra on a study of independent food banks operating in England. In November 2019 she won the Caroline Walker Trust 30th Anniversary Media Campaigner of the Year Award and in January 2020 was listed as a Top 100 Changemaker for 2020 by The Big Issue.
Maria Marshall, Project Officer
Maria is an MSc graduate of the University of Edinburgh. She joined IFAN in the midst of the first UK-wide COVID-19 lockdown and helps Sabine with the day-to-day running of the organisation. Maria has been working on our Cash First Project since June 2020, supporting the co-development of cash first referral leaflets in Scotland and England. She has recently been trained as a facilitator for a workshop series on dignity in emergency food provision hosted by Nourish Scotland and the Poverty Truth Community. She also works on research, data collation, campaign projects and supports member organisations with any questions or concerns while maintaining IFAN's website.
Finance, Membership and Cash First Officer
Ashleigh is a Public Health Nutritionist (Anutr), with a background in community health promotion, who believes that everybody should have access to affordable and healthy food. Most recently, Ashleigh has worked with the Welcome Network project, collaborating with partners to focus on holistic approaches to food insecurity and improve accessibility to food and support. Ashleigh is currently supporting the co-development of cash first referral leaflets in England, is responsible for IFAN's finance administration and running our members' map. She also helps with the day-to-day running of the organisation.
Katie Wright, Cash First Project Researcher
Katie is a soon-to-be MSc graduate of the University of Stirling, studying Human Rights and Diplomacy. She previously undertook a professional placement with Nourish Scotland as part of her degree. After thoroughly enjoying her work with Nourish Scotland, Katie has recently joined IFAN on a temporary basis in the role of Cash First Project Researcher, where she is supporting Maria and Sabine with research and data collection.
Valentina Pesarin, Policy Officer
Valentina is a soon-to-be MSc graduate of the Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London having previously studied Globalisation and Development at SOAS, University of London. She has also worked on issues relating to the political economy of food and the implementation of Right to Food. Most recently she has undertaken research on the role that food waste is increasingly playing as a false solution to food poverty in the UK. She has also led research for an Italian Government cash first initiative designed to respond to the Covid-19 food emergency. Valentina is working part-time as a Policy Officer for IFAN with a focus on policy and research questions.
Laura Gent, Volunteer
Laura is a second year Food and Human Nutrition student at Newcastle University, who wants to pursue a career that combines nutrition and working to bring about a more just sustainable future. She volunteers with Food Nation, a local social enterprise which works to bring healthy sustainable food to people across Newcastle. Laura is also volunteering with IFAN and learning more about the organisation's work to end the need for charitable food aid.
Deirdre Woods, Co-Chair of Trustees
Dee is Co-Founder/Coordinator of IFAN member Granville Community Kitchen, is a consortium member of Wolves Lane Community Food Hub in Haringey and is a member of the Food Ethics Council. Dee has worked in various roles as a community practitioner for the past 25 years and was named BBC Food and Farming Awards Cook of the Year and London Slow Food Ambassador in 2016. She has a background in community food education, health promotion, organic food growing and food research. As a good food advocate she's worked in collaboration with other food actors to develop A People's Food Policy. As a member of the Landworkers' Alliance she advocates for food and farming policy change, the right to food and food sovereignty. She sits on the London Food Board and is a visiting researcher at CAWR, (Centre for Agroecology and Water Resilience) Coventry University.
Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite, Treasurer
Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite is a Birmingham Fellow in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, University of Birmingham, UK. Kayleigh explores issues of poverty, stigma and welfare reform through qualitative and ethnographic research. She is author of Hunger Pains: life inside foodbank Britain (Policy Press, 2016) and co-author of Poverty and insecurity: Life in 'low-pay, no-pay' Britain (Policy Press, 2012), winners of the Peter Townsend Prize 2017 and 2013 respectively. She can be followed on Twitter @KA_Garthwaite
Dr Maddy Power, Co-Chair of Trustees
Dr Maddy Power is a Research Fellow at the University of York, researching the lived experience of food insecurity among ethnic minority groups and the influence of religion on food charity in the UK today. Before working at York, she was a senior researcher at The Equality Trust, a charity working to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequality, a campaigner at 38 Degrees and a researcher at the Resolution Foundation. Maddy is also the coordinator of the York Food Poverty Alliance, funded by Food Power.
Kemi Akinola, Trustee
Kemi Akinola is a Labour Councillor based in south London as well as the founder of IFAN member Be Enriched, a youth and community charity set up in 2013 focused on supporting and developing the community alongside the community. Be Enriched exists to enrich communities through food running community meals and innovative projects to increase access to good food. Kemi is also managing director of Brixton People's Kitchen - a social enterprise set up to support the community to share skills with profits going back to support free meals for those on low or no incomes. Kemi is also Chair of the Lambeth Food Partnership and co-Chair of the Wandsworth Food Partnership. In her spare time she's trying to cultivate an edible garden, with varying success.
Rajesh Makwana, Trustee
Rajesh has experience establishing and running innovative organisations in the voluntary sector and has a long-standing passion for social justice and structural reform that spans the spectrum of local to global issues. He is the Director of IFAN member Sufra NW London, a Community Hub that provides a life-line to people in crisis through a range of services including a food bank, community kitchen, edible garden project, refugee programme, welfare advice service and more. Prior to this, Rajesh was the director of Share The World’s Resources, an advocacy NGO registered with UN ECOSOC that campaigns for a fairer distribution of wealth, power and resources within and between nations. He has written and co-written numerous articles, reports and blogs on environmental issues and the need for systemic reform of the global economy, and maintains an active interest in the Right to Food and related debates.
Dr Sinéad Furey, Trustee
Dr Sinéad Furey is a Lecturer on the Consumer Management and Food Innovation undergraduate degree programme in Ulster University Business School. She completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree in food poverty researching the characteristics, extent and location of food deserts in both rural and urban areas of Northern Ireland in 2001. She joined Ulster University in 2013 having worked previously in consumer, food and nutrition policy in the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, Education and Training Inspectorate, and the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland. Sinéad researches food poverty with a particular focus on defining, measuring and mapping food insecurity.
Felicia Boshorin, Trustee
Felicia has worked in leadership roles in community, commercial and social care settings for over 30 years. Felicia has gained a wealth of experience by working one to one with service users having undertaken operational leadership roles within various charitable settings. She was the manager of the Southwark Foodbank for 6 years. She is currently the manager of IFAN member the Central Southwark Community Hub and is director of Parents Skills to Go. She is also Chair of Trustees of the Havering BME Forum.
Professor Jon May, Trustee
Jon is a Professor of Geography at Queen Mary University of London. Building on long-term interests in the changing nature of the welfare state, and the nature and role of voluntary welfare provision, he has been researching food insecurity and the UK’s emergency food sector since 2014. Jon helped establish the Emergency Food Network in 2015, and worked with Seb Mayfield, Steph and others to help set up IFAN (incorporating the EFN) in 2016. Beyond IFAN, Jon is also a Trustee of Bow Food Bank (an independent food bank in East London), and volunteers with the Purple People Kitchen Food Bank in Brighton.
IFAN from 2016 to 2020:
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. He 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 also grateful to Chris Sunderland for his contribution in time and wisdom as founder and trustee from 2016 to 2019, Steph Ellis for her contribution as founder, volunteer and charity secretary from 2016 to 2019, Robin Burgess who was trustee then treasurer from 2018 to 2019, and Annie Connolly and Megan Waugh for their invaluable work during the Spring of 2020.
We are also thankful for the invaluable support of volunteers Ren Piercy, Lucy Cullen, Sharon Ball and Dr David Beck during 2018 and Katie Gordon during 2019 to 2020.