Plans to create a community kitchen to enable local residents to come together to cook, share, connect and learn have been given the green light.
Thousands of local residents faced financial hardship during the COVID pandemic and had to turn to food banks because they were struggling to make ends meet.
This exposed the scale of food poverty in Adur and Worthing and the need for a more sustainable solution.
Community kitchens provide a space for people to learn how to cook and experience the benefits of cooking and eating together.
The Adur and Worthing community kitchen - or a series of pop-up community kitchens - will include cookery classes for people on low incomes to show how to cook easy and nutritious meals on a budget.
The space will also enable community groups to cook their own food for and support vulnerable groups, including the homeless.
Funding for the initiative was approved by members of the Councils' Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) as the first step towards developing a local food system.
This includes connecting with local food growers to provide healthy, affordable and sustainable food for Adur and Worthing's communities.
Cllr Kevin Boram, Adur's Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “The COVID pandemic has highlighted an urgent need to ensure that everyone in our communities has access to healthy, affordable food.
“We are tremendously grateful to the food banks and mutual aid groups for providing emergency food relief to residents. However, we need to look beyond the short-term to developing sustainable solutions for our communities. A community kitchen is part of our plans for achieving that.”
Cllr Sean McDonald, Worthing's Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said:
“The funding will enable a start-up community kitchen or a series or pop up kitchen spaces to be developed, to provide healthy, affordable and sustainable food to local communities that are most vulnerable to the impacts and ongoing effects from Covid.
“We will use this opportunity to test the approach and create a platform from which to develop a longer and more sustainable venture for our communities.”