A Galway city community food initiative is one of 14 projects awarded funding from safefood for the 2019-2021 Community Food Initiatives (CFIs ) programme. Galway City Partnership aims to promote healthy eating and overall wellbeing for families across the city.
The CFI programme is designed to positively influence the eating habits of families with children in low income communities across the island of Ireland. Safefood is investing a total of €630,000 over the three years of the initiative to help each of the 14 successful projects set up, manage, and sustain their work.
Speaking at the launch, Declan Brassil, CEO of Galway City Partnership, said: “We aim to positively influence the eating habits and basic food skills among families and individuals in the areas in which we work in Galway city. We see Community Food Initiatives as an opportunity to add value to the work we are currently involved in, mainly the Healthy Galway City Strategy, the Let’s Get Galway Growing Network, and the Galway City Early Years Health and Wellbeing Plan.”
Welcoming the new projects, Ray Dolan, chief executive of safefood, said: “Our Community Food Initiatives are inspirational examples of how investing in local communities can make a tangible difference to peoples’ lives, not only for today but for the future. The community-led approach has the potential to positively influence the food habits of families, which can impact on health, from childhood through to adult life. At safefood, we have been funding community food projects on the island of Ireland since 2010 and these have helped upwards of 30,000 people during that time. We are proud of the ambition, commitment, and passion shown by previous CFIs and those communities about to embark on the new programme. The funding stream announced today will build on that legacy and we look forward to these projects acting as champions in our local communities and beyond.”
The CFIs are administered at a local level by SECAD Partnership CLG. Speaking at the launch, Ryan Howard, chief executive, said: “We are delighted that we are once again coordinating the Community Food Initiatives on behalf of safefood and are looking forward to working in partnership with groups in local communities to develop new approaches to raising awareness and developing skills around healthy living and eating.
“Our CFI leaders are drawn from a range of local development groups who have wide experience of working with families. They will develop programmes that will create opportunities for people to improve their skills in relation to planning, purchasing, and preparing better quality meals for themselves and their families in a sustainable, affordable, fashion. The approaches and innovations developed will be shared throughout the three years with other communities, service providers, and stakeholders to improve awareness of the benefits of incorporating healthy eating programmes into their own work plans.”
Since it was first launched in 2010, 30 communities across the island of Ireland have received funding under successive CFIs. A key feature of the programme is that learnings and experiences from previous programmes are shared among the initiatives. Projects are also encouraged and supported to enhance the long-term sustainability of their work from the outset.