A new initiative aimed at helping people facing increasing financial uncertainty find the right support has been launched this week.

Hertsmere Food Poverty Alliance launched its ‘Worrying about Money?’ leaflet for residents of Hertsmere experiencing financial insecurity, and anyone supporting them, at a virtual event yesterday (Tuesday 8 March). The leaflet, which has been designed to help people easily identify and access local advice providers and ways to access existing entitlements and maximise income, will be landing on doorsteps, along with council tax bills, from the end of this month.

The leaflet has been developed based on findings from the Hertsmere Food Poverty Alliance and was co-produced by ourselves and the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN). At the launch, representatives of organisations who have come together to develop the leaflet, shared their thoughts and experiences and discussed how access to money advice and support can help reduce the need for charitable food aid.

Councillor Meenal Sachdev, Portfolio Holder for Community, Leisure, Health and Wellbeing, said: “Over the course of the pandemic we have seen a rise in poverty, with foodbanks reporting an unprecedented demand.

“It is for this reason we set up the Hertsmere Food Poverty Alliance – to bring together partners to reduce food poverty and food insecurity in the borough and to enhance services.

“The aim of this initiative is to address the root cause of poverty and provide straightforward resources, such as our Worrying about Money leaflet, to help people navigate their financial situation to a position where reliance on a foodbank will not be necessary.

“The virtual launch was a great success, with valuable feedback given from the representatives involved and mutual confidence that this will be a valuable aid to those in need of financial guidance or support.”

The Hertsmere Food Poverty Alliance is a borough-wide organisation aimed at tackling food poverty in response to the rising reliance on foodbanks, and was launched at the end of last year by us. Members are from a wide range of charitable and public sector organisations, including Citizens Advice, Borehamwood Food Bank, Potters Bar Foodbank and The Red Trust Bushey Foodbank.

Find out more about Hertsmere Food Poverty Alliance at www.hertsmere.gov.uk/moneyworries and the initiative at Cash First Leaflets – Independent Food Aid Network UK.

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