Better Food In 2024

Better Food In 2024 – A Resolution with a Difference

As we approach the new year, many of us will be looking for a change and to make a resolution or two. If you’re bored by the usual direction to a ‘new you’, I challenge you to take on a more unique path to a better year; better for you, your community and the wider world. I’ve pledged to join ShefFood’s Good Food Movement, and I’d like to ask you to do the same for better food for Sheffield in 2024! 

The Good Food Movement

So, what is Sheffield’s Good Food Movement? The core of a Good Food Movement is to increase public awareness of food-related issues and encourage participation in food-related activities, creating active food citizens. Being a food citizen means we are not just consumers but active participants with the power to shape the food system. 

The main aim of ShefFood is to transform Sheffield’s food system into a more sustainable and fairer sector, and a Good Food Movement is an essential part of this action plan. 

ShefFood’s Pledges

ShefFood has asked for pledges for eight specific actions for those who would like to join Sheffield’s movement. You don’t have to pledge to do all; you can choose the ones you are most excited about. And it’s fair to say there is much to be excited about in Sheffield’s growing sustainable food scene.

Pledge One

Pledge One is to start growing vegetables, fruit, or herbs at home or with a local community farm or garden. For the novice, salad greens and herbs on the window sill are a fantastic first step to growing your own food. However, If you are a keen gardener with space to plant at home, Sheffield Fruit Trees is a superb place to start, offering Sheffield-grown fruit trees and bushes acclimated perfectly to our city’s climate. 

For those without the space to grow, there’s plenty of opportunity to get involved in local community growing projects. Green City Action, United Women’s Affiliation, Holly Hagg Farm and Heeley City Farm are just some organisations with volunteer-led growing projects. 

Pledge Two

Pledge Two is to shop locally, when you can, to support sustainable and ethical food in Sheffield. There are too many wonderful shops, cafes and delis to name but some of ShefFood’s partners include Bragazzi’s Deli, Forge Bakehouse, Just Natural fruit & veg shop, Nether Edge Herbarium and Zed’s Wholefoods. 

Pledge Three

Pledge Three is about supporting local food projects by donating freshly grown or surplus food or by volunteering some of your time.  There is an incredible network of Food Banks and community organisations in Sheffield that are happy to accept food donations and need volunteers. A few mentions include Open Kitchen Social Club, Church on the Corner, The Sunday Centre and Parson Cross Community Pantry. 

When it comes to surplus food, especially if you’ve grown it yourself, the superb organisation Food Works runs the ‘Grow a Row’ and ‘Repurpose Your Surplus’ campaigns each year. They collect your produce and use it to make delicious, healthy meals for the people of Sheffield

Pledge Four

Pledge Four is to cook and eat fresh and healthy food more often. Fresh vegetables and fruit are a great place to start, so why consider signing up for a vegetable box scheme from one of the many urban farms in Sheffield? Moss Valley Market Garden, Sheffield Organic Growers, Regather Co-operative and Beanies Wholefoods all offer fresh produce deliveries, a great way to start cooking healthier food. 

But, if you aren’t a big cook just yet, but would like to be, we’ve got some more suggestions. For the novice, learning through volunteering is a great way to get to grips with the kitchen. Food Works, Open Kitchen Social Club and The Sunday Centre are just some food organisations that need volunteer cooks and provide lots of training. If you want something to advance your skills, why not take a cooking class with Twiddle Food or the School of Artisan Food? 

Pledge Five

Pledge Five is for reducing food waste and to share, freeze or compost any food you can’t use. There are many ways to contribute to this pledge, but a few key tips are always to write a shopping list, plan for leftovers (freeze, use for lunch etc) and have your friends over often for a cook-off. 

Pledge Six

Sharing food is a vital part of our communities, precisely what Pledge Six is all about. Connect with your community through food by joining in with local food activities. Some splendid foodie events run across the city, including Bags of Taste and Chef’s Counter.

Pledge Seven & Eight

Pledge Seven (Use my voice to encourage people to take action on food) and Pledge Eight (Join one of ShefFood’s Working Groups and come to meetings) go hand in hand. By directly becoming involved in the food movement around us, we can strengthen and grow it. When you come to an event or working group meeting, you can share your knowledge and insight, tell others about the work and be part of the decision-making process that directly impacts you, your family and your friends.

If you are ready to commit to one, or even all eight, of these pledges, head to the ShefFood website sheffood.org.uk. Let’s make 2024 the best year yet for food in Sheffield.

The Good Food Movement