Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Safefood project hopes to stamp out food poverty

Members of Windsor Womens Centre celebrating the announcement of up to ?35,000 for the Food for Thought project
Members of Windsor Womens Centre celebrating the announcement of up to ?35,000 for the Food for Thought project

Safefood has announced that Windsor Women's Centre, south Belfast, is one of the nine all island projects to receive funding for the Community Food Initiatives Programme 2013-15.

The Programme aims to support community projects in promoting greater access and availability of affordable and healthy food.

The Windsor Women's Centre's 'Food for Thought' project will receive up to £35,000 over the next three years to promote greater access and availability of affordable, healthy food.

The project will aim to provide a range of activities including a healthy breakfast club for crèche children, a multi-cultural cookery club and an inner-city community garden.

Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director of human health & nutrition,at Safefood said: "The 'Food for Thought' project is an excellent example of how local communities can work together to overcome some of the problems they face in accessing healthy, affordable food.

"The health effects of food poverty range from difficulties in concentration and poor energy levels in children, to wellbeing issues in everyday life for adults and higher rates of diet-related chronic diseases in later life.

"By funding community food projects that offer real and practical support for people, we can help develop lifelong skills and knowledge of healthy, nutritious food, and promote positive attitudes to food and diet in the community and foster a new approach to tackling food poverty on the island," she added.

The programme of funding will be managed at a local level by Healthy Food for All, an all-island multi-agency initiative seeking to promote healthy food for low-income groups.

Marjo Moonen, Chair of Healthy Food for All, said: "The core aim of our work is to end food poverty on the island of Ireland. As such, it is vitally important that we help make these Community Food Initiatives work locally.

"We understand the common issues that these projects face and can draw on our expertise from working at policy level and from managing the Demonstration Programme of Community Food Initiatives 2010-12, from our wide network base, to assist them.

The new Community Food Initiatives Programme builds on the success of the initial three-year Demonstration Programme of Community Food Initiatives (2010-2012) where seven projects received funding.

Key learnings and experiences from this previous programme 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.

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