Dignity in Practice Learning Events
In winter 2021/22, we hosted a series of learning events for people involved in responding to food insecurity in Scotland, and for people who are working to promote rights-based approaches. This work was co-produced with our partners in the Dignity in Practice project.
The Learning Event Series aimed to:
- bring together people throughout Scotland who design, deliver and take part in responses to food insecurity (community, local, national stakeholders);
- improve knowledge and understanding of the relationships between access to food, dignity, the right to food and the food system;
- inspire and support those who are interested in taking further action to promote dignity and human rights in response to food insecurity;
- provide opportunities for stakeholders throughout Scotland to consider how to put ideas into practice.
Each online event brought people from across Scotland together to hear about inspiring work that is already taking place and to provide opportunities for participants to reflect on how the learning from different approaches could be used in their local areas.
The events included contributions from a range of people with experience trialling different approaches to preventing and responding to food insecurity, as well as dedicated time for small group discussions so that participants could share reflections on the learning and consider next steps.
Ensuring that everyone in Scotland has reliable access to affordable and nutritious food is a core part of realising the right to food and promoting dignity. Making this a reality requires collaboration across public, private and third sector stakeholders as well as coordination of national, local and community-level action. This event series explores practical examples of how rights-based and dignified approaches are already underway in Scotland and elsewhere, and what more can be learned about our next steps.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have been speaking with people who design, deliver and take part in responses to food insecurity about how to adapt approaches and strategies in the face of new challenges for their community members. During our online workshops, we shared examples of how well-established community food initiatives were continuing to use the Dignity in Principles in Practice to inform their engagement with local communities, and we also heard about the overwhelming challenges that community providers were experiencing as more and more people found themselves without financial security. By late 2020, there was a growing recognition by members of the Dignity Peer Network that a right to food approach was needed to ensure that everyone in Scotland has the ability to afford the food that they need.
In October 2021, the Scottish Government launched a consultation on its draft national plan for Ending the Need for Food Banks, recognising that doing so would “contribute toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal commitments on ending hunger, eradicating poverty and ensuring good health and wellbeing” and “to our commitment to realise the right to food as part of the right to an adequate standard of living”.