Sustainable food, and building a sustainable food system, is one of the key issues for Can Do South Yorkshire and our partner organisations. Food is a big part of our lives, which means it is also a key area we can make positive change in. During the pandemic, it became even more important to support local and vulnerable people through food sharing, and the Little Sheffield Feast was a celebration of the hard work of community organisations.
The event, held in September 2021, was organised and run by Food Hall, Food Works, ShipShape Health and Wellbeing, Yes2Ventures, Regather and ShefFood. A free street party was held outside Regather on Club Garden Road in Sheffield. The local community was invited to attend, enjoy a free meal, meet their neighbours and celebrate local food, drink, music and history.
They wanted to recognise the amazing work done by local food organisations over the last 18 months, facing unprecedented challenges, from the pandemic to Brexit supply chain issues and climate change. From the local gardening volunteers wanting to connect with the production and growing of their food and to do something positive to benefit the local area and community, to the organisations who have been working so hard to keep people fed during a pandemic, particularly marginalised communities around Sheffield – there is so much to celebrate and applaud.
Food was cooked by local organisations including Regather, ShipShape and Foodhall, with some of the ingredients grown locally on the Lansdowne Estate. Regather also grow their own organic produce at their farm in Moss Valley. Food was also supplied by High Riggs Freeman Biodynamic Garden and Moss Valley Market Garden. These are all great examples of how food can be grown locally, reducing our carbon footprint and supporting the economy here in South Yorkshire.
To showcase this amazing work, Regather conducted tours of the edible community garden on Lansdowne Estate. Regather also ran an apple juicing stand so that attendees could enjoy freshly pressed juice whilst soaking in the positive atmosphere of the street party.
Teaching people about the history of food in Sheffield was also an important part of the day. Walks to and from Sheffield General Cemetery were carried out, with the Cemetery Trust hosting a stall with information on Victorian funerary foods and Michaelmas history.
To make the day even more special, sustainable decor was provided by the creative team at Cloud Nine Decor, brightening up the streets of Sheffield with giant flowers and colourful bunting. Music to accompany the day was provided by Soup Review and Liana Condor.
A sunny September day meant that the Little Sheffield Feast was able to run smoothly without any last minute weather concerns, and a wonderful time was had by all! Can Do South Yorkshire, funded by the National Lottery’s Community Fund, is proud to support this initiative.