Feedback on FoodFest 2016

Feedback on FoodFest 2016

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On the 16th and 17th September,
#FoodFest2016 brought food, fun and
even farm animals to the town of
Newcastle-Under-Lyme. We spoke to
local people and those involved in the
event to find out what was a success,
what could be improved upon and
whether they would like to see
another Food Fest in the future.
 

 

 Tina on the arts and crafts stall talked about how pleased she was to see a high turnout of young families, and said it would be a good idea to have future FoodFest events, maybe in other local towns:
“I’ve seen 3 generations today, and the
nice thing is to see people taking their
time and not rushing. This activity is time consuming and gets messy, so it’s good to see families taking their time and enjoying it, they all seem engaged with what’s going on today”.       

 

Hamidah attended the festival with her
henna materials, and commented on how
many people had turned up: “If this was here every weekend I’d
definitely come every time, it’s been
really good to see so many people. I think
next year it would be good to have all
different kinds of food, like halal and
vegetarian, and open kitchens would be
cool!”

 

Tesco were represented by their team who brought their smoothie bike and a supply of fruit to
get people thinking about how they can get more fruit into their diet and waste less. Rich, a
member of the team, praised the variety of stalls and the organisation, assuring us he would love
to get involved again:
“It’s been a great day, and people are asking if it’s on next week, everything is just positive,
positive, positive and I’d like to see this much more regularly. There really is nothing negative to
say, being here has been really good for both of us, and the feedback we’ve had about being
involved is great”.
Next year, Rich suggested a more centralised setup, so all stalls are closer together and in a
continuous line.

 

Michelle, from Wolstanton talked about
how she’d stumbled upon the event:
“We were just in town to get a few things,
but we’ve ended up staying longer
because there’s a lot going on and the
weather is lovely! It’s good to see
something like this, we’ve bought things
from a few stalls and everyone is so
chatty and enthusiastic, I’d come again if
this was repeated”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Karrar, from Hanley, said his three
young children had enjoyed the animals
most:
“It’s been really interesting for the
children to come and see the animals,
they are so cute and they don’t want to
leave them. It’s a really good way to get
children involved and attract young
families”.

 

Ramona ran the Fairtrade stall on the day with her two helpers, and agreed with others that
the activities for children were a real benefit:
“There’s good variety in the stalls, and it gives people something to do in town on a nice sunny
Saturday. All the stuff for children is a crowd puller because that’s what families want,
something entertaining and interesting, and I think that’s exactly what today has been”.
Ramona agreed with Hamidah that the event could be improved by having a larger variety of
food to eat, including street food and cooking demonstrations.

 

History 4 Health, part of the Green Door Community Charity, runs local knowledge sharing events,
and representatives at Food Fest talked about the benefits of communities coming together to
organise and attend events:
“There has been so much information shared today, knowledge that people have taken in and
given out, we need events like this to keep people connecting and communicating about what is
going on in the local area and what they can get involved with. There have been a few groups today
who weren’t aware of each other, and now they’re discussing working together because they’ve
met today, that’s really valuable”. The History 4 Health team echoed Rich’s suggestion that the
layout of the festival could be changed slightly to keep all stalls in a similar, central place.

 

Tony, of Clayton Scouts, praised the high
turnout, particularly of young people:
“We’ve been busy talking to people and
serving refreshments all day. Lots of
young people have been approaching us
to ask about activities and getting
involved locally. We’d love to see this next
yeah, and the Scouts would definitely be
happy to get involved again”.

 

One of the aims of Food Fest 2016 was to raise awareness of food poverty and waste in the local area.
Stephanie Parker, of Newcastle Staffs Food bank, talked about the importance of getting information out to
the local community so residents know where they can access help, and how they can contribute
themselves:
“The press around food banks isn’t great so it’s been really helpful to be able to talk to people and let
them know that anyone could find themselves needing a food bank, and give them information on how to
access help. I think the message about food poverty and the value of networking really came across today.
It hasn’t just been about gourmet burgers, but also an opportunity to talk about food, waste, and
sustainability and I think it’s gone really well”.
Stephanie agreed with others that the opportunity for community groups to come together was a bonus:
“Just in the last couple of hours I’ve got talking to two other groups I wasn’t aware of, and now we’re
thinking of getting involved with the allotment groups and sharing some of the produce around similar
groups in the area which is great”. Again, Stephanie agreed that the layout could be changed slightly so
that the event had a clear central space with stalls around it.