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Community Food Initiatives – Ireland

Summary

Community Food Initiatives (CFIs) – funded by Safefood and managed by Healthy Food for Al – aim to positively influence the eating habits of families in low income communities by addressing the barriers to having a healthy diet and supporting greater access to affordable and healthy food at a local level. Overall, CFIs promote good health by making it easier for people to make healthy food choices. The CFI programme consists of ten Community Food Initiatives based in areas of socio-economic disadvantage across the island of Ireland. The aim of the programme is to promote greater access and availability of healthy and safe food in low-income areas through a programme of local projects using a community development approach. The programme also supports and encourages all ten community projects involved, through shared learning, training and collaboration.
The Objectives of the CFI Programme are to: fund ten community‑based food initiatives across the island of Ireland, over a three‑year period (2013–2015); provide technical support, collective training and facilitate networking; Encourage projects to consider long term sustainability from the start of the programme; promote shared learning among CFIs on the island; identify policy and best practice lessons and increase awareness of the programme among key stakeholders. A summary of the key findings from the first year evaluation report is outlined below and can be accessed on http://www.safefood.eu/Publications/Research-reports/Evaluation-of-year-one-of-the-Community-Food-Initi.aspx. In year one, the CFIs engaged with more than 12,000 persons in activities related to healthy eating, growing food and cooking skills. Many individuals engaged in activities from time to time e.g. school or community events while a smaller number of individuals regularly took part in core activities such as gardening and cooking. Projects varied and some had an association with local schools. Priorities for the future: prioritise healthy eating/food activities – develop meal planning, budgeting and shopping skills; volunteerism – continue to sustain, recruit and organise volunteers and work to achieve results; promote shared learning among CFI’s on the island of Ireland outside of organised networking events; encourage long term sustainability planning – including a social enterprise approach; continue to identify policy and best practice lessons and increase key stakeholder awareness.

Additional information: http://www.safefood.eu/Publications/Research-reports/Evaluation-of-year-one-of-the-Community-Food-Initi.aspx

(last accessed in March 2017)

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Life Cycle Stages: Early Childhood | Older People (>65 yrs) | Pregnancy | School Age | The Young Old (50-65 yrs) | Work Life | 
Main Settings: community | 
Specific Topics: maternal nutrition | nutrition | 

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