Over the past 14 years Food Matters has established itself as a centre of excellence on community food with a focus on community development issues and initiatives where food is a key feature. We have built a strong reputation for advice and guidance on food systems analysis and processes, food strategy development, participatory engagement, research on food issues, and action planning in the food sector.
Food Matters’ work is underpinned by an approach based on Participatory Appraisal which focuses on process and acknowledges that people are the experts in their own lived experiences. This approach is based on an acknowledgement that lasting and meaningful change is more likely when the people who will be affected participate in deciding what those changes should be. This need for a strong sense of ownership is as true of organisations as it is of communities. By listening to each other, sharing different perspectives and working together we believe people will make more meaningful decisions.
Our community food work aims to build capacity so change in the community is possible. Based on our expertise and experience Food Matters is able to support individuals, organisations, statutory agencies and communities through participatory training and skills development.
Whilst this work is primarily focused on the food sector Food Matters also provides training and consultancy to groups and organisations in other sectors and around issues such as climate change, development planning, organisational capability reviews, waste strategies, renewable energy and community cohesion.
Community food work themes include:
- Participation skills training
- Expertise in participation
- Cookery skills training
- Food and wellbeing training and support
- Food and reform – workshops in prisons
- Kitchen Kick Start – cooking and budgeting with young care leavers