Eilis Davenport, a Ballymun local, mother of two, food educator, business owner, dancer, and community activist is determined to make some changes. Her mission: crafting the Dublin North West Community Food Manifesto.  

Collaborating with Eilis is Dean Scurry, a local podcaster and community activist who shares her passion for change. Robert Murphy, a 34-year retail veteran from Ballymun, brings valuable local expertise. Also contributing is Paddy O’Reilly, a key staff member at Trinity Comprehensive Secondary School, driving student-led food sustainability initiatives like orchards, a polytunnel, a kitchen garden, and a school chicken coop.

Ballymun features thriving community gardens like ‘Muck and Magic,’ newly opened cafes such as Grian and Blossom Bakery; and kitchen gardens in local schools.  There is additionally a growing sports scene in the area. In light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic however, there has been a noticeable increase in health-related concerns in our community. In an effort to address and reverse this trend, we are excited to announce a workshop scheduled for September 13th at the Ballymun Civic Offices. This workshop is open to all residents and professionals in the area who are passionate about shaping a healthier future for Ballymun through the creation of a Good Food Manifesto.

This session will be guided by the facilitators from Innovate Communities ensuring a productive and collaborative environment for all participants. Input and commitment to this initiative will play a key role in fostering positive changes in the community’s health and well-being.

The Good Food Festival itself will be held on September 15th andwill be based at the Axis Centre, Ballymun, from 11 am. This event promises enlightening talks from local horticulturalists; practical demonstrations from local chefs including the Forum’s leader Eilis; and tastings from a variety of food enterprises.  The Sustainable Life School from Drumcondra will be there delivering tips for greener living.

With 45.9% of foods purchased in Ireland being ultra processed (source: Public Health Nutrition Journal) and therefore both detrimental to health and planet we have some work to do to improve food futures for our community.  At an average cost of €30 per takeaway for a family of four, cutting out one takeaway a week would save you €1,560 a year (DKM Economic Consultants)

‘There’s a story here about the rise in take-away orders since Covid and the cost that has had on family food spending and the health of our community.  ‘Your health is your Wealth’, and the Good Food Festival aims to celebrate better food choices, and that having more money in your pocket can mean a better future for your family’ – Dean Scurry

‘I grew up watching home cooking fade out and ‘grab and go’ convenience foods make their way in.  Cooking from good quality, local produce is very important to me and I have a strong passion to improve food education’ – Eilis Davenport

For more information www.getitdoneballymun.ie 

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