What motivates people to get together over community food growing, cooking, eating and sharing activities? Why is participation in these activities uneven across geographical areas and social groups? What stops (some) people joining in and what can organisers do to support participation by diverse communities?
These questions are more important than ever with increasing food insecurity, social isolation and loneliness, and the resulting negative effects on peoples’ health and well-being. At the same time whilst there is a growing awareness of the challenges of structural and systemic inequalities, disproportionately affecting some social groups, there is less understanding about what can practicably be done to address them.
Join us to hear current research findings, from Coventry University and The Soil Associaiton, on a multi-level approach to understanding the interplay of motivations, barriers and enablers of participation in community food activities by diverse communities.
Dr Lopamudra Patnaik Saxena
Lopa is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Agroecology, Water & Resilience (Coventry University). Her current research on community food initiatives and sustainable food systems has two strands. One focuses on food access, food waste, healthy food, food governance, and the social impact of community food initiatives. The other strand focuses on community self-organisation from a social ecological perspective in the context of urban biodiversity and rural indigenous food systems. Lopa is a member of Coventry Food Network and a Trustee of Feeding Coventry, actively engaged in local community action to make Coventry a sustainable food city.
Dr Jana Fried
Jana is a human geographer and social scientist with expertise in community-based and community-focused research, specialising in science and society, health and development, environmental risk perception, and community resilience. Currently an assistant professor at Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, she has been working in various international and transdisciplinary settings on issues pertaining to community self-organisation and community well-being, including, in the UK context, on the health and well-being benefits of food gardening, and the circular economy.
Joshua is a PhD researcher at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (Coventry University). His community-based research focuses on looking beyond emergency responses to enhancing community food resilience in the aftermath of COVID-19 and increasing food insecurity in the UK. The aim is to identify the critical factors that will enable the transition from a linear approach to a systems approach to food security. He has extensive volunteer experience of working in community-based food organisations, including being a trustee for a student-led charity, DiscoverySVS, which ran food-related activities for vulnerable and isolated members of the community.
Dr Jasber Singh
Jasber has several years of experience designing, delivering and evaluating community participation projects on social and environmental justice at the local, national and international level. He is currently an Associate Professor in Participatory Practice at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (Coventry University). Jasber is interested in the way that the right to food, food sovereignty and environmental actions engages with race/caste and more broadly, the politics of difference.