15th March 2001


If you can afford to eat a healthy diet you can expect to live longer. Yet for many low income families the reality is food poverty, not food plenty.

This is the main message contained in ‘Hungry for Change’ a discussion paper launched today by the General Consumer Council as part of a series ‘The Price of Being Poor,’ intended to highlight the particular problems that low income families face every day. “Our job is to represent consumers, especially those least able to make their voices heard. We want this report to open up the debate on food poverty, a problem which is every bit as real as fuel poverty,” said Joan Whiteside, Chairman of the Council. “It is vital that our Assembly which has committed itself to targeting social need not only recognises the problem but supports those who are already tackling the problem in imaginative and practical ways and encourages others to do the same.” To show what has been done at local level examples from the following community –based projects were mentioned at the launch or included in the report.  Creggan Health Information Programme - Maggie’s Food Sheets – providing low cost nutritious recipes and budget advice.  North and West Belfast Health Action Zone – encouraging healthy eating in the community.  South Tyrone’s Food Futures - improving access to food for low income families.  Templemore Secondary School Breakfast Club – ensuring that children can avail of a healthy breakfast. Notes to Editors 1 The launch of Hungry for Change - Community action to tackle food poverty takes place at Grosvenor House, 5 Glengall Street on Thursday 15 March at 1.00pm. 2 The discussion paper is the first in a series of reports called The Price of Being Poor. The General Consumer Council has commissioned the papers in order to stimulate discussion around the issues which hit poorer consumers hardest. 3 Hungry for Change was written by Jacqui Webster, a respected expert in the field of food poverty. 4 Speakers at the launch include:  Maggie Taylor, Cookery and Nutrition Tutor with the NW Institute of FHE on the Creggan Health Information Project  David Deeney, Youth Tutor Templemore School Breakfast Club  Dr Borghild Breistein, Clinical Director of Dental Services for North and West Belfast Health and Social Services Trust  Mr Michael Walker, Member of the General Consumer Council 5 Picture opportunities from 12.45 until 1.00pm include:  Maggie Taylor serving Maggie’s Low Cost Lunch to Joan Whiteside and Michael Walker of the Consumer Council and Jacqui Webster author of Hungry for Change. 6 Interviews are available with Joan Whiteside, Chairman of the General Consumer Council, Michael Walker Convenor of the Council’s Food Group, Maggie Taylor and Jacqui Webster. 7 For further details please contact Carol Edwards on 028 9067 2488.