Lewes District Food Summit

The first Lewes District Food Summit took place on October 11th at the Linklater Pavilion in Lewes.

Organised by Lewes District Food Partnership, the event brought together over seventy stakeholders from across the food system, including community food volunteers, local councillors and policy makers, health workers and chefs.

A programme of speakers and participatory activities, which were co-facilitated by Food Matters, aimed to inspire action around food security, and in particular the challenges around emergency food provision during the cost of living crisis.

Those in attendance heard from a number of speakers including Antony Davidson from BigBarn CIC who spoke about engaging school children with food growing, Ronald Ranta of Kingston University who looked at the ‘community supermarket’ model, Carl Walker, a community psychologist at the University of Brighton who spoke about Hunger Trauma, and Emily Clarke, who runs Landport Community Café and used the Landport Estate as a case study for joined up community food action.

Conversations took place about the community response to food insecurity and how groups could work across the partnership to tackle food inequality.

The food summit also celebrated all that Lewes District Food Partnership has achieved to date, including allocating £36k in small grants to community projects that tackle food poverty, and launched the Lewes District Food Charter. Organisations are invited to sign the food charter and join the movement, by making a pledge.

Stef Lake, community development programme manager at SCDA, which houses Lewes District Food Partnership said, “The food summit was about bringing people together to inspire them. I wanted our speakers to really light a fire in people’s bellies and for people to go away thinking – if we work together, as a food partnership, we can achieve real change for the people living in Lewes District.”

Also in attendance were two Lewes District Council cabinet members and Kerry Brown, who is the newly appointed Cost Of Living Crisis officer at Lewes District Council. The food partnership have worked closely with the council, who are developing a food & fuel security strategy, with input from emergency food providers and people with lived experience of food poverty.

Feedback from attendees was positive, with people reporting that they went away feeling motivated to make a change:

“Excellent event. Thanks for putting it on. I left feeling motivated, uplifted and optimistic.” – Robin Van Creveld, The Community Chef

“Thank you all so much for facilitating yesterday. It was really inspiring and informative.” Michael Kennard, Compost Club

What an excellent afternoon, so much covered in that time. Very well organised!” Sue Fleming, Green Cuisine Trust

“Just to say a massive thank you for inviting us three from Human Nature, it was a rich and brilliant event with inspirational work and processes that we all not just learned from, but will connect with as we move forward with our plans. Brilliant work all round.” Clarissa Bromelle, Human Nature

Thanks for organising the food summit. It was a successful day. It was good to hear lots of different ideas and views.” Gemma McFarlane, Sharing Skills CIC

“Thanks again for the session yesterday – was really interesting and even as someone working with food as just part of my remit I got a lot out of the conversations and enjoyed contributing where I could.” Julia Vogado, All Abroad Bus

“Well done to the Lewes food partnership team for a great food summit event yesterday. Feeling inspired!” Ali Ghanimi, Brighton & Hove Food Partnership

“Well done again for yesterday, such an amazing amount of people in the room and some great conversations.” Alexandra Britten-Zondani, Food Matters


For further information about Lewes District Food Partnership email info@lewesdistrictfoodpartnership.org

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