Ballymoney: Case Study

In April 2014 the then Ballymoney Borough Council commissioned Food Matters to organise and facilitate an event ‘Hungry for Change’ to explore current thinking in Northern Ireland on food poverty. The event was promoted as ‘a conversation’ seeking to define what food poverty means and to initiate work towards a vision of a region free from food poverty.

The event acknowledged the importance of the local dimension to the issues but also looked beyond Ballymoney attracting the attention and interest of people working to understand and address food poverty across Northern Ireland.

The event’s key aim was ‘to identify and explore effective actions that could help to overcome the factors making it difficult to address food poverty’.

Since ‘Hungry for Change’ Northern Ireland has undergone major administrative re-organisation resulting in (April 2015) the merger of 26 district councils into 11 super-district councils. Within this changing geo-political context and building on ‘Hungry for Change’ Food Matters ran a series of workshops with the aim of building on the momentum and continuing to focus attention on food. In particular the workshops aimed to recognise the value of community activity related to food as a powerful mechanism for delivering a range of community benefits and achieving community development aims.

Whilst not specifically aimed at developing Local Food Poverty Action Plans this was understood to be a step in that direction – setting the scene within communities and local authorities for the establishment of Local Food Forums and kick-starting the development of Local Food Action Plans.

Contact victoria@foodmatters.org for more information.

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