‘Community food hubs’ is a term sometimes used to describe a cluster of neighbourhood level activities relating to food. This activity is often but not always, based in a community centre. This might include community cooking, meals, buying groups, growing food and a community cafe. There are no ‘hubs’ in Exeter at present.
Food Exeter is carrying out research into ‘community food’ activities across the city and will be publishing a report on this by the end of 2019. This will have recommendations and ideas for increasing this kind of activity. We would love to hear from any organisations interested in increasing this kind of activity across Exeter.
Such ‘hubs’ can be a means of local people, particularly those living with food poverty and food insecurity, improving their access to food, whilst also increasing community connections, having fun and building new skills. Offering such activities alongside emergency food provision can also help reduce the stigma of having to visit a food bank.
A Community Food Hub can develop naturally from one or two early food-related activities, or can be more pro-actively planned. Benefits include:
- reducing food poverty and food insecurity
- increasing community cohesion and the connection between local people and locally produced food
- providing more access to nutritious food
- building skills, both life skills and skills for work
- improving mental and physical wellbeing, building confidence