Reshaping our world through food: the power of community to reduce food waste and ensure no one goes hungry.
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being, including food (Universal Declaration of Human Rights). The food system no longer bears any relation to the people it evolved to serve. Every time we make a food choice, assuming we have the luxury of choice, we are voting with our forks and putting money and power in the hands of the few.
The flawed food system allows staggering amounts of surplus (an estimated third of all food produced globally is wasted) whilst millions go hungry. What does this paradox say about the society we live in?
Record numbers of people rely on food banks in the UK. During a global pandemic, we are experiencing unprecedented levels of food insecurity as already stretched food aid crumbles under new pressures. Well intentioned charities that tackle poverty (like food banks) are sticking-plaster solutions, incapable of fundamental or long-term change.
In this crisis within a crisis, we are all rediscovering the true value of food. As innately social animals, we have evolved to unite around food to better thrive as a species. It is a vital communication tool in that you feed to protect, and you share food to show love.
Filming and editing by Emily Boxall and Marine Renaudineau
Original music by Joel Balmer
With thanks to Simon from the Pecan Peckham food bank, Trussel Trust and Edward from the Copleston Community Centre
This project aims to start a wider conversation about food insecurity by utilising the notion of commensality (the practice of eating together and sharing food) within urban communities.
By making a collection of Community Larders, placing them in public locations, encouraging people to share what they can, and take what they need, I hope to start a new food economy based on shared resources and experiences rather than monetary transactions.
A manual enables any community to recreate their own Community Larder.
By filling the streets with shared, accessible food, we can take ownership of food security in our neighbourhoods and ultimately ensure everyone has enough to eat.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how unstable, critically flawed and unequal the UK's food system is. The lockdown shook up people's day to days routines and ‘normality’ was flipped upside down, many peoples focus turned to food- ensuring those who couldn’t afford or access it, had enough to eat.
In the first few weeks of the first national lockdown, whilst building and installing community larders was temporarily paused, The Doorstep Foodbank Project was launched. This encouraged people to make mini-food-bank-boxes out of whatever they could find about the house or in the recycling bin, filling them with whatever food they could spare and placing them on front walls, on public benches or on doorsteps so that others could help themselves.
An overwhelming number of people joined in with this project and helped fill the streets of South London, and much further afield with free, accessible food to help the hungriest members of our communities.Thank you to everyone who joined in and made a Doorstep Foodbank!
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