Video Series:
End Food Poverty: Community Food Initiatives Work!
We’re very excited to launch our video series, showcasing the 10 Community Food Initiatives across the country. You’ll get a chance to hear from some of the community food champions – workers, leaders and volunteers alike – who are working together to end #foodpoverty and make a huge positive impact on the lives of individuals and their communities!
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Ballybeg Community Development Family Growing Project

Ballybeg Community Development Family Growing Project, along with St. Saviour’s SNS, run a fantastic Family Growing Project. Hear from parents, teachers and facilitators on the many health benefits of food projects in schools. It is great for the parents to be part of the kids education. The children take their new skills home and share the information with family and friends. Teachers are happy with the added-value of learning outside the classroom.


Blanchardstown Good Food Network with St. Patrick’s Senior School in Corduff

Check out these fabulous young people identifying the many benefits of cookery classes in school. “I have learned a lot about healthy food and I go home and tell my Mum about it.” For some it is their first time cooking by themselves and they are glad they can do it with friends. They also like learning to cook for when they are older and living by themselves and in college.

10. Cloughmills Incredible Edibles Project, Co. Antrim

Tracey and Norma talk about the difference the Cloughmills Incredible Edibles project has made to their lives. Tracey says her grandchildren eat the food because they have picked and cooked it themselves in the children’s cookery classes. Norma would come to the garden all week if she could! She feels ‘free’ and great to be doing something good.

9. Ballina Eat Wise Project, Co. Mayo

This Traveller men’s cooking group talk about how they are learning how to cook healthy food and shop on a budget; it’s bringing the group together so that they are taking part in other activities, such as walking – “It’s great when we get together as a team and when we put our heads to it what we can do altogether.” Powerful and transformative stuff!

8. Gortin Community Seasonal Eating, Co. Tyrone

Anna and Nora from Gortin’s Ageing Well Group talk about the fabulous, fun cooking class and how they link it to the produce they grow in their community garden. They share the learning and skills with their grandchildren who “love to see how everything grows”!

7. Growing Community Roots, Tallaght, Dublin 24

Julie has started up her own business locally and is busy teaching parents and children about healthy eating and cooking so that they can live happy and healthy lives. Julie is a strong believer that there should be healthy cooking programmes in schools. This is also a great way for kids from different countries to come together to teach each other about food.

6. Blanchardstown Good Food Network, Dublin 15

A teacher and parents explain the benefits of having cookery classes in school. The children can use the tomatoes from their school garden to cook healthy pizza. They learn that “if they can do it in school they can do it at home; it’s also great to get parents involved.” A healthy family activity that teaches life-long skills.

5. Ballybeg’s Family Growing Project, Waterford

Hear the wonderful children of Ballybeg’s Family Growing Project in Waterford talk about how they love learning to grow and cook food – “It’s about fun and seeing your friends really happy” – it doesn’t get better than that!

4. Doras Bui’s CHANGE Project (Dublin 17)

It is great for Mark to see his children digging in the mud and asking “can I have that to eat, Da?!” The spirit that people have in the community garden – old and young – is just brilliant. It has made him get closer to people. Thomas explains that we should be more in tune with how nature works alongside growing.

3. Windsor Women’s Centre – Food for Thought Project (Belfast)

Hear from some of the women involved in the Food for Thought Project at Windsor Women’s Centre in Belfast. The initiative is having a big positive impact on their wellbeing, empowering them with food growing and cooking skills while also keeping the women connected in to community activities together.

2. Fatima Groups United Project (Dublin 8)

In this video participants from Fatima Groups United Project in Dublin 8 tell us about their experiences of what the Community Food Initiative means to them. The experience is changing people’s lives, producing healthy food for them to eat but also impacting positively on their overall wellbeing, and strengthening social networks.

1. Dunmanway Grow it Cook it Eat it – Growing Together (Co. Cork)

Hear Charlie and Alberina talk about the community garden initiative in Dunmanway, and the positive vibe it creates for them and their families. The project

  • engages families and groups through sharing and learning skills to promote healthy eating and wellbeing,
  • provides opportunities for growing and cooking food together in a fun, sustainable and inclusive way,
  • promotes positive family and community relationships,
  • reduces isolation and promotes wellbeing.

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Community Food Initiatives (CFIs) are projects that improve the availability, affordability and accessibility of healthy food for low income groups at local level using a community development approach. HFfA manages a programme of 10 CFIs across the island of Ireland, funded by safefood. These initiatives are making a real di­fference to food poverty, by fostering positive changes in the health and nutrition of families and young people in communities across the country. They are promoting greater access and availability of healthy food in low income areas. Find out more about HFfA’s Community Food Initiative Programmes.

Do you want to set up a Community Food Initiative? Check out our resources:

Learn more about the different types of Community Food Initiatives below:

Community Café

Community cafés provide access to healthy, affordable food for local people in a welcoming environment.  For many people, particularly those on low incomes, accessibility, affordability, availability and awareness of healthier options often present barriers to eating a healthy diet. Community cafés provide a practical way of addressing such barriers.  They can be situated in community centres, Healthy Living Centres or other community buildings, and can be run by volunteers, paid staff or a combination of both.  Check out our directory for examples of community cafés across the island of Ireland.

Food Growing Project

Community food growing projects introduce people to the theory and practice of growing their own food.  In recent years there has been a significant increase in interest in such grow-your-own initiatives.  Community food growing projects promote social cohesion and a great sense of shared achievement.  They also help raise awareness of environmental benefits . Types of projects range from household initiatives such as hanging baskets, window boxes and backyard gardens, to allotments and community gardens.  The initiatives directory has a number of food growing projects displayed.

Nutrition and Education Training Programme

Nutrition and Education Training Programmes help improve healthy eating practices amongst low income groups through a combination of education and skills training.  These include cookery courses, including training on budgeting and reading labels, and supermarket tours.  There are a number of examples of initiatives of this type in our directory.

Community Food Centres

SOme community groups run a wide range of food initiatives and services for their local community.   The efforts of groups such as these are recognised under this category and some examples are available on our directory.

Food Banks

Food banks are non-profit organisations that redistribute food and related products donated by farmers, food suppliers, supermarkets etc. to charitable organisations or other non-profit organisations. The goods are normally housed in a warehouse ‘the food bank’ and redistributed to organisations through the use of a van. Food banks distribute goods such as canned groceries, fresh produce, frozen foods, bakery products, and some personal hygiene or household cleaning products.  FareShare Island of Ireland is a regional food sharing network that aims to help vulnerable groups in food poverty by distributing surplus, ‘fit for purpose’ food. The Belfast depot has redistributed almost 62 tonnes of food since it opened in March 2011.  FareShare is a UK network of community based partnerships that deliver services to local community members.  For more information contact Méabh Austin at +44 (028) 90246440 or email  The European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA) promote the ideals that access to food is a social right and the destruction of food is unnecessary. For more information on the European Food Banks please email: or check out their website.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is an important aspect of care in the community and in the home and is often seen as a central support for older people that enables them to continue to live at home.  The service is important from both social and nutritional points of view.  Some examples os this regional community food resource are available on our directory.