This is the plan drawn up to tackle food poverty in one of Merseyside’s most deprived areas.

The constituency committee governing Wallasey could spend its entire available budget on turning round the fortunes of areas with high levels of deprivation including Seacombe – where the number of children living in poverty stands at 36.6%.

A special meeting of the committee has been called for next week, when councillors will decide whether to adopt a proposal to spend £59,000 on initiatives like identifying community hubs to support families, helping partnerships access more funding and encouraging more to volunteer.

The report said: “It is proposed that a commissioning exercise takes place to identify a provider to improve the response to tackling food poverty across Wallasey Constituency.

“This is with the purpose of coordinating activity across the constituency, addressing any gaps in provision and implementing an infrastructure that is joined up and sustainable following the conclusion of the contract.”

The provider will be given a contract lasting 12 months from April 2019.

If proposals are approved next week, its role will be to:

  • Identify current provision and gaps in tackling food poverty within each of the six wards of Wallasey Constituency – Leasowe and Moreton East, Liscard, Moreton West and Saughall Massie, Seacombe, New Brighton, and Wallasey. They will also identify six central points to support children and families in each ward with access to low cost and healthy food.
  • Use those hubs to help other providers tackle wider forms of poverty, such as period poverty, as well as encourage volunteering and reduce social isolation.
  • Engage and work with existing statutory, voluntary, community and faith groups including Wirral’s children’s centres, family hubs, schools, community cafes, social supermarkets, food banks and Seacombe’s Improving Life Chances Steering Group, and support new provision where required to plug the gaps.
  • Help public, private, voluntary and community partnerships and processes take advantage of economies of scale and access to continued funding.
  • Develop and implement plans to make sure the hubs are sustained and well-linked.

The report to be discussed by councillors at the Wallasey Town Hall meeting on December 12 added: “Food poverty means that an individual or household is not able to obtain healthy, nutritious food, or cannot access the food they would like to eat.

“This often results in people eating poor diets, which can lead to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer, as well as inadequate levels of many vitamins and minerals.

“Poor children can suffer from lower nutrient intake, bad dietary patterns, hunger, low fruit and vegetable consumption and problems accessing food in school holidays.”

As well as the high numbers of Seacombe’s children living in poverty, above-average rates also exist in Leasowe and Moreton East (26.5% of children) and Liscard (24.7%).

The Wallasey initiative has taken influence from the Feeding Birkenhead project established by Frank Field MP in 2014 – a coalition of churches, food banks, community groups, and other organisations working together to eliminate hunger in the area.

According to the report, the Wallasey scheme will help contribute to the council’s ‘Wirral 2020 pledges’, ensuring targets such as ‘children are ready for school’, and ‘vulnerable children reach their full potential’ are met.

If the proposal is adopted, a further meeting will then be held where a final decision will be taken.