The Community Food Initiative (CFI) Programme aims to positively influence the eating habits of families in low income communities by making food skills more mainstream and healthy food more accessible. As well as increasing awareness around healthy eating, this project promotes healthy shopping, improved meal-planning and budgeting as well as enhanced cooking skills. All of these are tangible, transferable skills that can benefit an entire community. The CFI is funded by Safefood and managed by SECAD.
During 2020 whilst Covid-19 presented as an actual challenge initially, the external evaluation found that the online nature of programme delivery opened the programme up to parents from a wider geography, removing in many cases the barrier of access to transport and childcare to participate in the programme. Despite initial fears around broadband connectivity due to the rural topography of the area, throughout the three programmes, only 2 participants indicated that they had any issues with connectivity, and these were isolated instances. In the main, participants and stakeholders felt that the online nature of the programme delivery was excellent and was actually a benefit and enabled the programme to discretely tackle issues such as transport, childcare and food poverty. The programme has continued to be delivered online during 2021