Community Food Initiative

The Community Action Team (CAT) has embarked on a challenging three year programme to promote greater access and availability of healthy and safe food for all through a local community development programme. The CAT Incredible Edibles project is one of ten initiatives on the island of Ireland that comprise the Community Food Initiatives Programme 2013-15. The programme is managed by Healthy Food for All (HFfA) and funded by safefood. The vision for the programme is to foster positive changes in the health and nutrition of families and young people. All ten projects have committed to shared learning and networking. HFfA use the evidence from the programme to identify policy and best practice and to increase awareness of work done at local level among key stakeholders across the island of Ireland. The overall vision for CAT Incredible Edibles project and the way it will be delivered is explained below.

Vision

To reconnect people with each other, their community and the natural world by developing a sustainable, fair and healthy food system in Cloughmills.

Everyone will know where food comes from, appreciate seasonal diversity and environmental impacts of food, be confident in cooking and celebrate the role of food in our lives.  We will improve diet related health, reduce food poverty, make our community more resilient, increase choices available to and within our community, maximise the impact of every pound spent locally and develop a shared food vision. We will deliver our project through specific activities under the following themes.

Community

Food growing skills ( communal and domestic )  using containers and permaculture / organic techniques ; Foodscape our community to grow food in public places ; Recruit ‘Fruit and Veg’ champions to support growing at home ; ‘Share the Surplus’ – to encourage and connect people with the surplus produce to share ; ‘potluck suppers’ where everyone brings along a dish ( we might end up with 20 desserts but so what! ); develop mushroom growing project as a social enterprise for young people ; ‘Growing Families’ programme with whole family growing together.

Learning

Baby weaning and toddler nutrition classes for parents ; ‘Bake your Lawn’ sessions in schools- growing, harvesting, milling and baking breads ; Cookery classes for every 10/11 year old in the village ; ‘Shared learning’ events on food skills and techniques with participants all contributing ; Train and support 8 Cook-it ! champions delivering sessions on cooking skills, hygiene, purchasing and portions ; hosting a series of  reskilling and harvest events, teaching lost skills related  to food ; host pizza & movie nights where all ages make their own pizzas ; promote a ‘lovefoodhatewaste’ campaign with communities and businesses ; foraging for food ; explaining the healing properties of food.

Business

Totally Local campaign promoting local / seasonal produce ; mystery market stall every month showcasing local produce , cooking tips ; facilitate development of more food businesses ; establish a food hub bringing growers, producers, retailers and consumers together to maximise the impact of local food.