‘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.
In 2019, Food Exeter carried out research exploring community food hubs’ activities across the city. Our report, Exploring Community Food Hubs shows the potential for ‘community food’ activities to address issues of isolation, food poverty, food waste, nutritious food, education about food and much more.
Clusters of activity based around food – cooking, growing, buying, eating together – 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.
Benefits of these clustered activities 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