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Limerick Food Partnership diversity project - Attendees pictured at the Limerick Food Partnership - Celebration of Learning : Celebrating Food Diversity at The Pavilion, University of Limerick. Picture: Diarmuid Greene Limerick Food Partnership diversity project - Attendees pictured at the Limerick Food Partnership - Celebration of Learning : Celebrating Food Diversity at The Pavilion, University of Limerick. Picture: Diarmuid Greene

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Exploring and Celebrating Food Diversity with Limerick Food Partnership

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Limerick Food Partnership diversity project –  Attendees pictured at the Limerick Food Partnership – Celebration of Learning : Celebrating Food Diversity at The Pavilion, University of Limerick. Picture: Diarmuid Greene

Exploring and Celebrating Food Diversity with Limerick Food Partnership

Limerick Food Partnership Mary Sexton, Catherine Lasile, and Niamh Holmes, (front row), Rachel McCarthy, Saoirse McGeever, Dawid Glazer, and Jane Fitzgerald (back row). Picture: Diarmuid Greene

Mary Sexton, Catherine Lasile, and Niamh Holmes, (front row), Rachel McCarthy, Saoirse McGeever, Dawid Glazer, and Jane Fitzgerald (back row). Picture: Diarmuid Greene

Students from the University of Limerick and members of migrant communities in Limerick recently came together as part of an intercultural project to improve knowledge of healthy eating and diverse food cultures present in Limerick.  People from four different parts of the globe; Nigeria, Bangladesh, Poland, and Palestine, took part in the project with MSc students in Human Nutrition & Dietetics in UL. Together, they explored different food cultures and diets, how food is prepared and served, and how diet is preserved here in Ireland and in the country of origin. 

As part of the project, the UL students explored how to make the Healthy Food Made Easy (HFME) programme more inclusive of diverse food culture and diets.  The HFME Programme is the HSE’s nutrition and cookery programme delivered by Limerick Food Partnership.  It aims to help people to adopt a healthier diet, plan meals on a budget and make easy-to-cook meals.  The course content is based on the healthy eating guidelines issued by the Department of Health.  

The project is the result of a collaboration between Limerick Food Partnership, the School of Allied Health in UL, and the Limerick City and Country Integration Group.  The project was co-ordinated by Limerick Food Partnership, which is an initiative that aims to raise awareness, improve access, and increase the supply of healthy food options in Limerick City and County. 

Catherine Lasile, originally from Nigeria, who took part in the project said “we really enjoyed the process, and we were delighted to share our knowledge and recipes with the students”, while Anwar Khalaf from Palestine said that she “hoped our recipes will be shared widely not only amongst our own communities but in the wider Irish community also”. 

Prof. Niamh Hourigan, Co-Chair of Limerick Food Partnership said “We are delighted to be part of this exciting initiative and look forward to working with colleagues in UL and migrant communities in Limerick to celebrate food diversity in the city and county. As part of our own contribution to that process, our Co-ordinator Olivia O’Brien, has exciting plans for 2021/ 2022 which will focus on delivery of Healthy Food Made Easy to a diverse range of groups including migrant communities. She will also engage with community and voluntary organisations throughout city and county to deliver on projects that address the issues of food poverty and food preparation skills deficit”. 

Dr Anne Griffin, Course Director MSc Human Nutrition & Dietetics said “Dietetic students enjoyed working in partnership with migrant leaders to gain a better understanding and insight to develop inclusive resources to support health and wellbeing. This work was achieved through a community led development approach working with migrant representatives to integrate food culture and traditions with the Irish Healthy Eating Guidelines supporting better health for all.”

The Limerick Food Partnership (LFP) is a collaboration between community, voluntary and statutory organisations involved in food-related initiatives.  Membership of LFP is drawn from a cross section of agencies and organisations with strategic relevance to food poverty, social inclusion and health and wellbeing in Limerick City and County (see list of organisations below).  LFP is funded by the Redemptorists, the Healthy Ireland Fund (HIF) via Limerick Community Development Committee (LCDC), Limerick Children and Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC) and the Health Service Executive (HSE). It is hosted by PAUL Partnership. 

The School of Allied Health (SAH) at the University of Limerick offers five professional programmes across four disciplines of Human Nutrition & Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy. All of its pre-registration programmes have the necessary CORU approval and professional body accreditation.  Collaboration with other research groups and disciplines locally, nationally and internationally, as well as patient and public partners, are key features of the research activity within the department. 

The Limerick City and County Integration Group is responsible for coordinating the development of migrant integration strategies for delivery of services and the implementation of activities that promote the integration of migrants in Limerick City and County. It is comprised of statutory, community and voluntary and migrant representative groups, strongly committed to progressing integration measures, celebrating diversity, and enhancing social cohesion in the region.

LFP Member Organisations includes Ballyhoura Development CLG, Health &Wellbeing Department, HSE, Health Promotion &Improvement, HSE, Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board, Limerick City & County Council, Limerick Children and Young People’s Committee (CYPSC), Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership (LEDP), Mary Immaculate College, Mid West SIMON, PAUL Partnership CLG, Redemptorists, Limerick, Society of Vincent de Paul, Midwest Region and West Limerick Resources CLG.

For more info on Limerick Food Partnership go HERE

For more stories on Limerick Food Partnership go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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