Food for the people, by the people
On Thursday the 5th of December, we ran the first Sheffield food forum, together with Sheffield Hallam University. It was a pilot for what we hope can be the core of a truly inclusive movement for change.
We’ve always felt strongly about including everyone in our campaign. Food, the environment and fairness are topics that are in everyone’s interest, and everyone’s responsibility. And if we create solutions ourselves, it also means we do not depend on the whim of funders or politicians for the things that are important to us. That has always been at the core of our work. But how do you build a movement?
Whatever the full answer to that question is, we hope the forum can be a start. It’s a place where people can come together over food for the price of a simple meal. This should make it accessible not just financially, but also psychologically. The discussions over dinner are meant to be informal as a way to invite participation from everyone. Our first evening seems to have accomplished a lot of this. We’ve had participants from business, academia, third sector and the general public all actively debating the issues that were important to them. Everyone rated the sustainability of food on our barometer, and wrote a Christmas card with their wishes and resolutions for a less consumerist and more sustainable Christmas celebration.
The main course was a wonderful middle eastern style vegetarian meal cooked entirely from surplus by Sheffield Hallam students under the supervision of their executive chef.
Over the meal each table discussed in more detail what we might do as a city to make our food more sustainable.
And at the end of the evening, everyone got to vote on the suggestions and ideas that were raised. We’ll be working on publishing the outcomes early in the next year, as there is a lot to get through!
All in all, it was a fantastic evening and most of us went home inspired and energised. So in 2020 we will be looking to do this regularly. Please do sign up to our newsletter if you’d like to stay posted on our next events.