For Covid-19 updates and information click here

Perth and Kinross Council – collaborating around local food

Perth and Kinross Council (PKC) Community Learning and Development (CLD) team was one of three pilot areas we invested in during Spring 2023 to support local work to build a stronger community food sector, tackle health inequalities and poverty.   


Perth and Kinross Council’s CLD team supports community groups and individuals across the area to develop their capacity, engage in learning and take action to bring about change for themselves and their communities. The team helps to connect communities with local partnerships and works with many partners within PKC and across Perth & Kinross including NHS Public Health Teams, to meet the needs of local communities.

How it works

The CLD team had been working with and alongside agencies, third sector partners, communities, and individuals on the topic of food insecurity.

The CLD team used the funding we awarded to focus on developing its food-related work in the Coupar Angus area and as part of the teams’ work with the Eastern Food Network. The network is made up of local food larders and foodbanks across the Strathmore area. The CLD team were keen to make links with fruit and veg producers in the area and discuss the possibility of these supplying the Eastern Food Network, community food members and local communities.

Addressing food insecurity and poverty using cash first approaches

Addressing poverty and supporting a cash first approach is an essential part of PKC’s Coupar Angus Action Plan. The PKC’s Welfare Rights Team ran sessions for the community networks and other community groups in the area to raise awareness of the types of income maximisation support that is available, and to discuss how to improve access to this support.

PKC CLD team also collaborated with the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) to improve the distribution of IFAN’s Worrying about Money? leaflets in the area. These were distributed door to door in Coupar Angus by local councillors.

Linking local producers with community food initiatives

The CLD team met with producers and begun to source supplies from them to run their local community ‘Happy Tattie’ cooking groups. These cooking groups focused on making a healthy three course lunch using local produce.

The PKC Communities team, NHS Tayside Health Improvement Team, Giraffe CIC, local community groups and local food producers were all involved in planning and running the ‘5 Mile Feast’ event at Strathmore Community Hub in Coupar Angus. This one-day event aimed to showcase local produce, promote a range of family friendly food activities, bring the community together and get feedback from the community on this work.

This was well attended by the local community and volunteers. Local produce was promoted and given out as part of recipe bags and tasters. Everyone who attended also received a copy of the IFAN Worrying About Money? Leaflet.



Establishing connections between the local producers and community groups was difficult for a few reasons:

The CLD team found that although local producers were keen to supply their produce locally and support the work of local community groups, they had limited capacity to meet with groups to establish those connections. The CLD team had anticipated this would be a challenge and had visited a social enterprise in another part of Tayside who was already being supplied by a local farmer. However, this link had taken several years to get established and to the point where the social enterprise was able to sell the farmer’s food at a price the suited both consumers and the farmer.

People at the 5-mile feast and Happy Tattie sessions fed back that the cost of the local food was too high, even at ‘farm gate’ costs and access to the farms to buy the food was an issue.

The Happy Tatties cooking sessions were not as well attended as the CLD team had hoped. However, the team made new links with the local primary school and plan a more targeted approach to running cooking sessions in future.

The CLD team continues to support the Eastern Food Network and other networks across the PKC area. Ideally these different networks would link up more often to share ideas and resources, but it can be challenging to find a time and methods that suit the capacity of community groups. The CLD team will continue to support sharing learning across the different networks.

What’s next?

The CLD team prepared a map of local producers as part of the 5-mile feast and will develop this into an online map highlighting community food initiatives, community growing projects and local food producers. A local decision-making partnership which focuses on poverty and inequalities in the local area is planning on developing and utilising the map to share more widely.

The CLD team will continue to build on the links made with other PKC teams, including the new community food growing officer and work associated with the developing sustainable food partnership and the child poverty team.

The team will continue to embed cash first approaches as part of their work, including distributing the IFAN Worrying about Money? Leaflets and continue engaging with PKC Welfare Rights team. Councillors in Coupar Angus and surrounding areas are going to deliver the leaflets to postcodes which fall into SIMD most deprived areas.

The team are considering how they can extend this pilot work to other areas across Perth and Kinross.

Published: February 23, 2024