Connecting and Supporting our Local Food Partnerships

OASES and Food Durham have been awarded nearly £180k in funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.  This funding will enable Food Durham to work strategically to develop a sustainable local food system as well as supporting communities to grow their own food.  This will help to create a thriving local food culture in County Durham.  Jill Essam has been appointed as the new Food Durham Co-ordinator and will support the strategic partnership, provide events and networking opportunities within and across communities and strengthen links with community-based networks by supporting community groups and schools to grow, prepare and cook locally grown food.  The project aims to facilitate access to locally grown, healthy and affordable food for all.  

Get Growing 

The new National Lottery funding, with some additional funding from Sustainable Food Places, is enabling Food Durham and OASES to work with both schools and community groups in 14 areas across County Durham.  In the first-year food and growing activities are taking place in Chester le Street, Grange Villa, Sunniside, Barnard Castle and Ushaw Moor. A further nine communities will be engaged in the following years. The food and growing sessions will be tailored to the needs of each community and could involve support for existing groups, introducing growing activities to a new audience or delivering more specific training, for example growing plans for food hubs, developing a forest garden, or setting up a composting system.

Dynamic Food Procurement

Food Durham is also a member of the North East Sustainable Food Alliance (NESFA). NESFA is working on a Dynamic Food Procurement (DFP) project, funded by the Dixon Foundation, to raise the profile of and promote and engage anchor institutions across the region with the concept. DFP is a procurement system that uses innovative technology to create an open digital marketplace that enables shorter, more transparent food supply chains which will deliver significant social, economic and environmental benefits. The work in the northeast is bringing together anchor institutions and procurement organisations to promote the value of DFP. It is hoped a regional food hub can be established, which will work towards running a DFP pilot. 

National news and Campaigns

  • Planning for the Planet campaign: Our rivers are dangerously contaminated and factory farm pollution is the leading cause. Sustain’s new campaign is calling on council’s to protect rivers from the spread of factory farms.  

  • The Food Foundation’s Broken Plate report 2023:   The Food Foundation's annual flagship report features up to date analysis on the state of the food system and key insights on how we can shape a better future.

The Broken Plate 2023 | Food Foundation

  • Why we need a national conversation about food: Henry Dimbleby, author of the National Food Strategy, talks with Sue Pritchard, Chief Executive of the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, about how food policy is made, and how the National Conversation About Food can help address the challenges of making real change.

The challenges of making food policy | Sustainable Food Places


  • Right to Grow campaign: This campaign aims to change the rules and give people the right to grow food on suitable public sector land.

Right To Grow – Incredible Edible

  • Say yes to school food for all: Just like desks, books and bathrooms, we should give school food to every child.

School Food For All | Sustain (