Programme of Community Food Initiatives

The Community Food Initiatives Programme aims to positively influence the eating habits of families in low income communities by making food skills more mainstream and healthy food more accessible. ​safefood will be funding 13 projects through the course of 2016-18. As well as increasing awareness and knowledge around healthy eating, these projects will promote 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.

The Community Food Initiatives will be administered at a local level by South & East Cork Area Development (SECAD). 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 already 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 these 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.

Background on the 2016-2018 Community Food Initiatives

Carlow County Development Partnership, Co Carlow

Over the three years, parents and young people will learn how to eat healthily on a budget, children will be encouraged to choose a healthy option through making growing and cooking food fun, and everyone will discover that healthy eating choices can improve both their physical and mental health and ultimately improve their life chances.

Inishowen Development Partnership, Inishowen, Co Donegal

It is hoped that our CFI project will result in families adopting a healthier lifestyle and that they will make healthier food choices, increase their physical activity levels and build the confidence to change.

South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association, Dungannon, Co Tyrone

Parents on low income will be able to shop with confidence knowing that they are buying a healthy option at the best price and providing their families with wholesome food.  This in turn will instil in their children a greater appreciation and awareness of healthy eating.

Ballyhoura Development, Kilfinane, Co Limerick

Through their involvement in the CFI, adults and children will become aware of the benefits to their mental and physical health of good nutrition, and will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to nurture themselves and their families.

South Tipperary Development, Cahir, Co Tipperary

We hope to see a change in the eating patterns and behaviours of the project participants that will have an impact across the food life cycle - from deciding on the food that they buy in their households, to how any residual food is disposed of.

NI Environment Link (NIEL), Belfast, Co Antrim

The Community Food Initiative will provide the opportunity to strengthen the activities and reach of the Food Poverty Working Group in Belfast through continued active promotion to increase awareness / knowledge around healthy eating and healthy shopping in targeted deprived areas.

Co Wicklow Partnership/Southside Partnership DLR, Arklow, Co Wicklow

It is hoped that in each year, the CFI will positively influence the eating habits of the participants and that those who have benefited directly will indirectly benefit others by influencing their wider families and neighbourhoods.

South West Mayo Development Company, Newport, Co Mayo

After year 3, families and young people will have an increased awareness and knowledge of the importance of a healthy diet and will benefit from knowing how to shop for healthy foods, having developed their skills to plan, prepare and cook healthy meals within their budget.

SPACE, Newry, Co Down

Our vision for the CFI is to use this as an opportunity to improve the availability and access to safe and healthy food in the community through raising awareness, enhancing education and ensuring that the promotion of budgeting, healthy meal planning and cooking skills are embedded in our work with parents and young people.

Avondhu Blackwater Partnership, Castletownroche, Co Cork

We will work with disadvantaged families and young people to encourage and support them to make informed decisions regarding their diet and that of their families through focusing on nutrition, food shopping, meal planning and preparation.

Laois Community and Enterprise Development Company, Portlaoise, Co Laois

LPC would like to see the Laois Community Food Initiative gathering momentum year on year, with a positive impact on the eating habits of low-income families through building awareness and knowledge around healthy eating and healthy shopping, particularly reading labels and judging the nutritional value of shop bought food.

The Resurgam Trust, Lisburn, Co Antrim

The aim of our CFI is to support families and young people to have improved literacy in terms of what a healthy diet is and also increasing their opportunities to access healthy foods and helping them gain the skills to plan, budget and cook for themselves and their families.

Monaghan Integrated Development, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan

At the end of the 3 years, we hope that there will be a positive shift in perception of what constitutes a healthy diet and this shift will be reflected in the everyday lives of those involved and their wider community.