Community Food Initiatives Benefit Children and Young People

By cypscAdmin, Wednesday, 16th September 2015 | 0 comments
Filed under: Health.

Healthy Food for All (HFfA) is an all-island charity addressing food poverty by promoting access, availability and affordability of healthy food for low-income groups. Food poverty is defined as the “inability to access a nutritionally adequate diet and the related impacts on health, culture and social participation.”

A core part of Healthy Food for All’s work is to support the development of Community Food Initiatives (CFIs). CFIs, such as cookery and nutrition classes, and community gardens, are projects that improve the availability, affordability and accessibility of healthy food for low income groups.








Community Food Initiatives (CFIs) benefit children and young people in many ways and reach targets under all five national outcomes for children and young people as outlined in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. They not only increase access and availability of healthy food in low-income areas, for example by growing produce in community gardens, but also improve physical activity.  

Healthy Food for All has been supporting Community Food Initiatives for eight years and has evidenced the many benefits of these powerful projects for children and young people. We are advocating that they be mainstreamed in every low-income community and see Children and Young People's Services Committees as a key structure to promote and support the development of CFIs at a national level.  

CFIs report many cases of children and young people benefiting from being connected with their environment through gardening and also by learning about healthy cooking and nutrition. This also has a knock-on effect on the health and well-being of the entire family and can influence the wider community. CFIs can have a transformative effect on the health and social engagement of families, children and young people and can build confidence by offering people a chance to learn and share their skills. 








Findings from HFfA's Demonstration Programme evaluation found that CFIs make a difference to food poverty at a local level.  Year one of HFfA's current CFI Programme evaluation showed that CFIs engaged with more than 12,000 individuals in activities related to healthy eating, growing food and cooking skills. HFfA will be hosting a national networking and training event in November 2015 and will invite Children and Young People's Services Committees to attend. 




Click here to read a full article on 'The Benefits of Community Food Initiatives for Children and Young People'. 

Check out Healthy Food for All's video series here and hear many programme participants comment on the positive effect CFIs are having on the children and young people in their communities. 

For more information visit HFfA's website at or contact Georgina Buffini at

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