‘Feeding our Community’ was a great evening, with lots of lively discussion about activities that are already happening across West Birmingham and Smethwick, as well as hopes for the future. It was an opportunity for people to meet, share aspirations, and plan how we might work together to realise some of the ideas that were presented on the night.
The themes that were addressed included food relief, education, waste, growing, and community. The good news is that there are loads of great things happening already, including The Real Junk Food Project Birmingham, Smethwick CAN’s ‘Pay as you can’ café, a number of food banks in the area, growing and composting at City Hospital, and several other growing sites in the area, but there is still a lot more that can be done to bring our communities together around food.
Some of the ideas raised during the course of the evening included a ‘Fuel for School’ project, providing hot food to children during school holidays, food education and cooking classes within the community, batch cooking meals from food that would otherwise go to waste, identifying underused community kitchens and potential growing spaces within the area, and the possibility of foraging tours with a community meal prepared at the end. Some longer-term aspirations were shared as well, including the hope that food banks will no longer be required at all in the area, and that no food waste will end up in bins at all.
The evening was hopefully just the beginning of this journey to address food poverty, unnecessary food waste, poor nutrition and cooking skills, and underutilised resources within our USE-IT! community. If you are interested in getting involved with upcoming activities, or are already working on food projects or enterprises in the area, then please follow our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to keep up to date. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org to register an interest in getting involved.
Author: Kathy Hopkin, Co-operative Future