Cash First approaches aim to get money into people’s pockets to reduce or eradicate the need for emergency food aid.

Independent Food Aid Network define this as addressing the root causes of poverty, meaning everyone in the UK could afford to buy adequate, healthy and nutritious food.

They identify 5 stages of support:

  1. Adequate benefit payments and fair wages
  2. Statutory cash grants
  3. Charitable cash grants
  4. Vouchers
  5. Emergency food parcels

Project Brief

Recognising the contribution of current activity across Glasgow and the valuable learning this offers to the wider community food sector within the city and beyond, we plan to carry out mapping on current Cash First/Money Advice activity across Glasgow’s community food sector, research how gaps in service provision are being addressed and promote the value of Cash First approaches in reducing the need for foodbanks and food aid.  

Research and Mapping Activity

The research work will capture key data from across the city including: partners involved; target groups; reported impact; identifying gaps, challenges overcome, lessons learned, and links to policy areas and initiatives. 

Our mapping will provide an opportunity for Glasgow’s Food Map to be updated with all relevant Cash First activities to promote its importance and serve as a valuable resource to organisations and individuals across Glasgow. 

Addressing Gaps in Service Provision 

Having identified gaps in service provision, we will work with partners including the Glasgow Food Policy Partnership, to explore developments to address such gaps, with this being informed by those most affected, including people with no recourse to public funds.   

Cash First Campaign 

Informed by the mapping activity and reflecting Scottish Government’s key messages on Cash First, we will create a Cash First publicity campaign promoting Glasgow’s community food sector. This will provide messaging on the value and importance of Cash First approaches in reducing and ending the need for food banks in Scotland and the important role of community food within this. 

Activities will include:

  • Bringing GCFN members and other organisations/ indviduals together to discuss Cash First approaches, share learning and develop shared understanding.
  • Connect with key local partners to develop/ promote a shared understanding of Cash First approaches.
  • Identify and explore current and potential developments for Cash First approaches where there is currently a lack of service provision.
  • Promote case studies/ examples of good practice.


  • Mapping local Cash First activity across Community Food sector 
  • Guidance on identifying and addressing gaps in service provision 
  • Cash First publicity campaign outline promoting good practice in the community food sector

Mark Fitzpatrick is leading on this project. For more info, contact him at [email protected]