Tullamore community food initiative receives funding boost

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Tullamore community food initiative receives funding boost

Tullamore community food initiative receives funding boost

A Tullamore-based community food initiative has been announced as one of 14 projects awarded funding from safefood for the 2019-2021 Community Food Initiatives (CFIs) Programme launched yesterday.

Offaly Local Development Company aims to promote healthy eating and overall wellbeing for families across the county.

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, Niamh McKernan, Community Development Worker said: ” Offaly Local Development Company wishes to invite and empower local communities across the county, to promote healthy lifestyles by using fun initiatives which will leave families feeling more equipped with transferable knowledge, skills and confidence to continue to adapt healthier lifestyles.”

Welcoming the new projects, Ray Dolan, Chief Executive 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 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 new initiatives. New initiatives are also encouraged and supported to enhance the long-term sustainability of their work from the outset.