This year Global Action Plan (GAP) Ireland took part in the 25th anniversary of UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Day held on the 17th October. Father Joseph Wresinski’s Call to Action inspired this day 30 years ago in Paris:
“Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.”
This Call to Action provides an alliance for people from all backgrounds to fight poverty together. As a result, Ireland joined the movement in 2009 and started hosting a national programme of #EndPoverty events in 2014.
Why Food Poverty?
Community participation is crucial to GAP Ireland’s mission and work. With this in mind, we decided to bring the #EndPoverty movement to the Ballymun community. To do this, we used the Glás Community Garden to focus on Food Poverty with our From Plant to Plate workshop series. This workshop series would not have been possible without funding from The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection as part of its public awareness funding initiative for the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Food Poverty is the inability to access a healthy diet. While the cost of healthy food plays a role in this, it’s not the only factor. Food Poverty is a result of inaccess to education, transport, literacy, or environmental planning. In 2013, the Department of Social Protection estimated that 600,000 people live in food poverty in Ireland. As a result, these 600,000 people lack a consistent source of healthy food. Consequently, this leads to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other health risks.
To celebrate UN Eradication of Poverty Day, we hosted five workshops about what one can do to combat food poverty. 41 community members participated in the workshops and the mission to #EndPoverty.
GAP Invites You to #EndPoverty: From Plant to Plate
These workshops took place between the 10th and 24th of October at the Glás Community Centre and focused on the factors that contribute to food poverty and the consequences of an unhealthy diet. As a result, participants learned the effect food poverty has on people in Ireland. We brought in guest speakers for the series such as Chef Carl from The Ballark Community Training Centre and Stephen Hayden, a horticulturalist and beekeeper. Both gave various demonstrations on healthy cooking and growing in small spaces. Throughout the workshops, participants helped harvest fruits and vegetables grown in the garden and the rest was donated to the Star Project Ballymun.
Workshop series’ such as From Plant to Plate are key to fight food poverty from the bottom up. They bring people together to understand both the cause and consequences of food poverty and their community impact.
We are thankful to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for helping us put together these great workshops! Keep an eye out for more food poverty related workshops at Glás Community Centre on our events page. Together we can #EndPoverty!