Last month, on the 10th March, 30 individuals, organisations and businesses attended our quarterly Food Cardiff network meeting. Our regular meet up brought together an eclectic mix of community food projects, food producers, food retailers, dietitians, educators and public sector officials from across the city.
Hosted by Butetown Community Centre (who run lots of events and services in local food, including a Community Pantry) the day started with an informal networking and a spot of ‘mingle bingo’ – meaning that right from the beginning people were chatting and making new connections with others in the community.
For those who were new to our quarterly meetings, the meeting kicked off with a recap from Food Cardiff coordinator, Pearl Costello, who presented the Good Food Cardiff Strategy 21 -24, and reiterated what’s been achieved to date. Over the last nine years, Food Cardiff has grown significantly, making a recognisable impact at a citywide level, and in 2021, the city achieved Silver Sustainable Food Places status (the first place in Wales and one of only six places in the UK). You can find out more here.
Next, an informal idea and event pitching session gave people the chance to share what they have been up to in their respective projects, to help connect with others and share ideas. A wide mix of projects and upcoming events came up – such as Egin, a project unlocking the collective power of communities in Wales to tackle climate change; Communiti, a delivery platform that supports local, independent and sustainable food & drink producers; and Edible Cardiff, an exciting, grassroots network of food growers currently planning their Cardiff Spring Festival 2023.
Finally, Kervin Julien, who has decades of experience campaigning for social justice and tackling food poverty (most recently setting up Butetown Community Pantry in 2022) gave an inspirational talk and tour of the pantry, which supports the local community with dignified, affordable access to culturally-appropriate food, and provides meals for up to 75 families a day.
Just a taste of the feedback from the meeting:
“Loved sharing with others and hearing from others. Great buffet too! Love the relaxed and informal environment – we could bring volunteers who wouldn’t be left out or intimidated by it being too formal”
“I made some useful connections and enjoyed hearing about other events and having a platform to share my events and services.”
“I met old friends and created some new ones. Explored new ideas!”
If you have an idea, project, event or just an interest in good food that you’d like to bring to our next Food Cardiff network meeting, you can join us in early summer (it’s free!) – simply sign up to our newsletter for updates and to register your place.