The first FoodFest took place in 2014 and was the brainchild of John Bungenaar who had the idea to run an event that had the duel aim of raising funds for Newcastle foodbank and letting people know about the growing problem of food poverty. Taking place at Cornerstone Community Centre, Silverdale, the event brought together community groups and food producers to create an informative and enjoyable event and raised over £1,500 for Newcastle Foodbank. As the event was such a success John said that we would do it in Newcastle next year. Sadly, within weeks of FoodFest 14 John began suffering with cancer and he lost his battle to the disease in February 2015.
The idea behind FF was so important that it could not be allowed to die. Jayne, one of the original team behind FF14 decided that Newcastle deserved its own food festival and the idea of a festival that highlights the issues of food waste, food poverty, sustainability and food security was born. In memory of John and to honour his years of service it was decided that the name FoodFest would be taken forward for the new venture.
The team soon began to grow and Jan, Becca and June soon joined the merry band. The group constituted in October 2015 and everything was set to start to plan events for 2016.
For two days in 2016 we filled Newcastle under Lyme with local food producers, arts activities, farm animals and community groups that worked together to create an event that highlighted the issues of food waste, food poverty food security and sustainability all issues that are very relevant in our area.
The event was a tremendous success. We brought together over 15 groups and organisations, collected enough food to feed 12 families for 3 days and with the support of local Tesco’s gave away 300 loaves of bread and made smoothies for numerous visitors using fruit they donated.
Photos of the two days events can be found here.