Making Local Food Work Final Newsletter – November 2013

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The final newsletter of Making Local Food Work – a reflection from Plunkett’s Chief Executive, Peter Couchman.
 
Making Local Food Work was a bold decision by the Big Lottery Fund to support communities who wanted to take ownership of where their food comes from. Six years on, the results have been staggering. In the main programme, 1,600 community food enterprises have been helped, involving 7,289 producers, 10,033 volunteers and 6,623 employees. Through our press and media work we have increased awareness of the community food sector to 45 million people and we have improved access to local food to over 3.8 million people in England. Over the last year that work has been extended to allow even more people to be supported; we directly helped another 296 community food enterprises. We’ve also assisted 10 support organisations of the community food sector, with a collective membership base of 12,000 community food members.  Our work in 2013 focused on how to help the community food sector become more resilient in today’s tougher economic climate. 
 
Now this work has ended, it is only natural for us to reflect on what has been one of the largest programmes in our history. We are left with a huge admiration for all the people we worked with in our partner organisations: Co-operatives UKSustainSoil AssociationCampaign to Protect Rural EnglandFARMA and Country Markets. Even more than this is our thanks for the amazing range of inspiring people from all walks of life who played a role in helping to transform local food in their communities. The programme saw local food transformed from something that an inspiring group of specialist producers did, to something that we could all do. Its legacy will be those community enterprises continuing to make a difference to the communities they serve.
 
Our work may be done on the programme, but the task of inspiring people to see that local food is something that inspires people to come together as a community, and offers a co-operative way to meet so many needs, is a task that will be part of our work for many years to come. 
Click here for further advice and information on funding, and Support for Community Food Enterprises
 

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