New funding awarded to Community Food Initiatives to help tackle food poverty across the island of Ireland

Tuesday 24 May, 2016. safefood today announced the recipients of funding for the Community Food Initiatives Programme 2016-18 which aims to positively influence the eating habits of families in low income communities by making food skills more mainstream and healthy food more accessible. The 13 projects that will receive funding over three years were officially launched in Dublin today.

Welcoming the new projects, Ray Dolan, Chief Executive safefood said “The work of Community Food Initiatives (CFIs) demonstrate how investing in communities can help with influencing healthier food choices and learning lifelong skills; this community-led approach has the potential to positively impact on health from childhood right through to adult life. At safefood, we have been funding community food projects on the island of Ireland for over six years and these have helped upwards of 40,000 people by offering real and practical help in the local area and beyond.”

This new funding stream being announced today will build on those previous programmes and support existing facilities and structures that are present at local level. As well as increasing awareness and knowledge around healthy eating, we look forward to these projects acting as local champions to promote initiatives for example, healthy shopping, improved meal-planning and budgeting as well as enhanced cooking skills. All of these are tangible, transferable skills that can benefit an entire community.”

Two examples of initiatives receiving funding include Laois Community & Enterprise Development Company who will be working with low-income families to improve their knowledge and awareness around healthy shopping and healthy eating with a particular emphasis on understanding food labels; and the Resurgam Trust, Lisburn who are supporting families and young people to have improved literacy in terms of what is a healthy diet and gaining skills to plan, budget and cook for themselves and their families.

The full list of recipients of the Community Food Initiative (CFI) funding 2016-18 are:

  • South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association, Dungannon, Co Tyrone
  • NI Environment Link (NIEL), Belfast, Co Antrim
  • SPACE, Newry, Co Down
  • The Resurgam Trust, Lisburn, Co Antrim
  • Carlow County Development Partnership
  • Inishowen Development Partnership, Buncrana, Co Donegal
  • Ballyhoura Development, Kilfinane, Co Limerick
  • South Tipperary Development, Cahir, Co. Tipperary
  • Co Wicklow Partnership/Southside Partnership DLR, Arklow, Co Wicklow
  • South West Mayo Development Company, Newport, Co. Mayo
  • Avondhu Blackwater Partnership, Castletownroche, Co. Cork
  • Laois Community and Enterprise Development Company, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
  • Monaghan Integrated Development, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan

The CFIs will be administered at a local level by South & East Cork Area Development (SECAD). Speaking at the launch, Ryan Howard, Chief Executive, SECAD said “We are delighted to be working with safefood on the 2016-2018 Community Food Initiative. As a Local Development Organisation with over twenty years’ experience, we have gathered expertise and knowledge in the formation and facilitation of local collaborations between communities and service providers. The purpose of these collaborations is to creatively address issues that cannot be solved by any one stakeholder or approach. The challenge being proposed by the CFI is to improve the levels of nutrition in the diets of lower income families and individuals across the Island of Ireland.” 

“We will be managing the CFI with the support of a range of local development groups to trial different approaches to help raise awareness of the issues and encourage the exploration of opportunities to improve people’s skills to plan, purchase and prepare better quality meals for themselves and their families in a sustainable, affordable fashion. Ultimately we aim to develop a number of approaches and innovations that can be taken forward by other communities, service providers and stakeholders to improve the nutritional value of food consumed by every sector in society. These methodologies will be developed with people and families living on lower than average incomes so that the ideas and approaches that emerge are not going to be exclusive to those that are better off in our society. Achieving this goal this will not be easy but it’s a challenge that we are delighted to address in partnership with safefood and colleagues across the island of Ireland”.      

Each Community Food Initiative will receive funding annually over a period of three years to set up, manage and sustain their project with safefood investing up to €30,000 in each of the 13 projects over the lifetime of the initiative.

In total, 17 projects on the island of Ireland have received funding since the first three-year Demonstration Programme of Community Food Initiatives from 2010-12 and successive programme from 2013-15. Key learnings and experiences from this previous programmes will be shared among the new projects and they will be encouraged and supported to enhance the long-term sustainability of their project from the outset.

a crowd at the CFIs launch

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For further information or to request an interview please contact

Dermot Moriarty/Julie Carroll


Tel: 01 448 0600

Mob: 086 381 1034 (Dermot) / 086 150 3047 (Julie)


South & East Cork Area Development (SECAD)

Sinead Conroy

Tel: 021 461 3432


For more information on SECAD, please visit