Moya Kneafsey University Of Coventry
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Moya Kneafsey University Of Coventry Moya Kneafsey University Of Coventry Presentation Transcript

  • COMMUNITY FOOD INITIATIVES Moya Kneafsey Coventry University Photo credit: Salop Drive Market m.kneafsey@coventry.ac.uk Garden, Sandwell, West Midlands, UK
  • Outline of Presentation 1. Context : health inequalities; food poverty; food security 2. What are Community Food Initiatives? What can they achieve? 3. Inspiring Stories 1: EarthShare 4. Inspiring Stories 2: Salop Drive 5. Conclusions
  • Context: Health Inequalities, Food Poverty and Food Security
  • Context: Health Inequalities and Food Poverty  Large and growing literature on impact of inequalities in income, and of social deprivation, on food consumption and nutrition (Dowler et al 2001)  Food Poverty = “the inability to acquire or consume an adequate or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so”  Governments increasingly recognising food poverty as a serious issue
  • What are the food impacts of living in poverty? Compared to richer people, those living on low income or in deprived circumstances:  Eat less nutrient dense and less diverse diet  Often have to pay more for basic food items  Have to spend a greater proportion of their income on food – even more for healthy food  Often have worse geographic access to food  May go without food to pay other bills / debts  Suffer more food related ill-health e.g. obesity, diabetes, (some) cancers and coronary heart disease
  • Food intake follows income rather than health needs….  Families living in poverty prioritise immediate satisfaction of hunger, rather than longer term health:  “It is not that families in poverty are unaware of the health benefits of eating certain types of foods; just that these assume a lower priority than the immediate concern of filling stomachs” (Lang et al 2009: 260)  Food intake is also culturally and socially contingent – food poverty includes lack of access to valued or preferred foods.
  • Food Security  Since WWII, a key policy concern  Increased significance recently due to raised awareness of climate change and recent food price rises  Defra: „food security is when all consumers have access at all times to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for an active and healthy life at affordable prices‟  Some argue for increased local self-sufficiency as a response….
  • What are Community Food Initiatives ?
  • What are Community Food Initiatives?  They are diverse! But  Activities include: usually have these  Cookery sessions common elements:  Slimming clubs  Food  Food buying co-  Local Involvement operatives  State or Charitable  Transport schemes Support, with some  City farms moving towards Social  Gardening schemes; Enterprise models community allotments  School breakfast clubs  Community Cafes
  • What can CFIs achieve?  Evaluation can be difficult, as objectives of CFIs are often wide-ranging  Success means different things to different people  Research shows that impact can be achieved when :  CFIs are based on sound principles of community involvement and needs assessment  Have clear aims and objectives  Have time to establish themselves
  • The 5 Capital Assets Framework (Dowler and Caraher 2004)  Financial Capital: the amount of money circulating in a local economy  Social Capital: human interaction around food; social relationships, networks  Human Capital: capacity building; skills; personal development; improved health  Natural Capital: the landscape and biodiversity supported by local food systems  Physical Capital: local infrastructure available to or owned by local sector e.g. shops, transport, processing facilities
  • Inspiring Stories 1: EarthShare
  • EarthShare CSA: Scotland Community Supported Agriculture  Founded 1994  70 subscribers in 2008  Organic food
  • Subscriber Motivations  It‟s organic food  It‟s community building  Sense that it is grown with “love and respect”  Eating seasonally and healthfully  It tastes delicious
  • The many benefits of EarthShare: “It‟s just great that we have EarthShare and we haven‟t even talked about the advantages of EarthShare being local, seasonal food and I don‟t even think anymore about what to cook, as I just look in the box and whatever needs to be cooked is cooked . But also the relationships and involvement with the people growing the food.” [Consumer workshop]
  • Reconnecting with food, and with people “if you think about where your food came from and who‟s work has gone into getting that, the growing of it, the planting of it and getting it to you, and now when I‟m doing the vegetables I think well somebody‟s been out in that field and you do feel better having those kind of thoughts and its not just an anonymous carrot (laughter). It has come from that field and somebody had to plant it, somebody had to pick it then box it, and you think well a lot of people have gone to a lot of effort.” (EarthShare subscriber)
  • Inspiring Stories 2: Salop Drive Market Garden
  • Activities at Salop Drive Market Garden  Therapeutic and active gardening sessions (supervised by horticultural therapist)  'Ready, Steady, Grow„ programme for schools run in partnership with the Primary Care Trust, plus one off school visits with curriculum support.  'Bag Your Share„ vegetable delivery scheme  After school parent child gardening group  'Grow your own veg' short course  Monthly Health Walks  Work Experience placements from schools and colleges http://www.sandwellfoodnetwork.org/viewProject.php?id=1
  • New foods, new skills, healthier diets “And there was another [vegetable we didn‟t recognise]… now I think it was a salad green, I don‟t know, I haven‟t got a clue what it was when we opened the bag. So the wife steamed it …and it was beautiful, and apparently it‟s supposed to be like a lettuce, a salad leaf, and … I don‟t know, but I‟ve never steamed a lettuce, but this was beautiful steamed.” (Salop Drive Consumer)
  • Conclusions
  • CFIs can deliver many benefits… CFIs are promoted as a way of addressing food poverty and health inequalities, but their contribution is wider than health: Dowler and Caraher (2004): found benefits in all 5 Capital Asset categories (in UK West Midlands) CFIs contributed ‘significantly’ to human capital e.g. training, skills CFIs were effective tools for community regeneration Some evidence of land reclamation
  • But they need support too…  Secure long-term funding (currently project workers spend much time and energy trying to secure funding)  Recognition of „soft outcomes‟ e.g. well-being, self- worth  Co-ordination of policies – health, environmental sustainability, education etc.  Longer term policies to remove structural barriers to food equality e.g. Integration of planning, retail, business, farming policies to promote health-giving food systems
  • Small changes….great changes „…if you can do a little thing in some little way that does help either the environment or your community then you know…you‟re making a small contribution. It doesn‟t mean you‟re going to change the world or social policy, but your little bit and if a lot of people adopted that attitude then social policy and community welfare would change.‟ (EarthShare subscriber)
  • Thank you for listening!  Dowler, E. and Caraher, M (2004) The value References and potential of local food initiatives in the West Midlands region: Report to Advantage West Midlands  Dowler, E., Turner, S. and Dobson, B. (2001) Poverty bites: food health and poor families, London: Child Poverty Action Group.  Kneafsey, M., Cox, R., Holloway, L., Dowler, E., Venn, L., Tuomainen, H. (2008) Reconnecting Consumers, Producers and Food: Exploring Alternatives  Lang, T., Barling, D., Caraher, M (2009) Food Policy: Integrating Health, Environment and Society