Food and health case studies

Scotland has a strong history of community food initiatives, from lunch clubs and food co-ops to youth cafés and gardening projects, all working to improve health and wellbeing in low-income areas and to address the needs of different groups of people.

Self-evaluation programme – Windmills Cafe

About the café Based in Motherwell town centre, Windmills, Café with a Conscience, (WC) began trading in 2010. It was established to support the development of independent living skills and provide meaningful work experience and training opportunities …

Read ‘Self-evaluation programme – Windmills Cafe’ here

Self-evaluation programme – Sycamore Tree Cafe

About the café The Sycamore Tree Café (STC) is based within Davison’s Mains Church in West Edinburgh. The café was set up to be a community hub, providing a safe and welcoming space for everyone in the community. It is open three days a week, plus one …

Read ‘Self-evaluation programme – Sycamore Tree Cafe’ here

Self-evaluation programme – Open Door Cafe

About the café The Open Door (OD) is Edinburgh’s oldest community café. Running since February 1982, it was set up by a number of local churches to provide services for older people who they thought may be suffering from the ‘poverty of loneliness’, be …

Read ‘Self-evaluation programme – Open Door Cafe’ here

Self-evaluation programme – Kate’s Kitchen

Background to the cafe Kates Kitchen (KK) is based in Annan in Dumfries and Galloway. The organisation’s aim is to make life better for everyone that comes through the door. It runs a ‘pay what you can’ café which is open to anyone: people using the ca …

Read ‘Self-evaluation programme – Kate’s Kitchen’ here

Self-evaluation programme – Community Food Stop

About the Community Food Stop Run by the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust (KOSDT), the Community Food Stop (CFS) is a weekly café providing a three-course lunch or  a snack, payable by donation. CFS was set up for two purposes: to address social is …

Read ‘Self-evaluation programme – Community Food Stop’ here

Self-evaluation prgramme – North Edinburgh Arts

About the café North Edinburgh Arts (NEA) is based in Muirhouse, North Edinburgh and opened in 2000. The community café is integral to the centre and is seen as a key way of encouraging local people (and others) into the centre and into taking part in …

Read ‘Self-evaluation prgramme – North Edinburgh Arts’ here

The Usual Place

 The Usual Place (TUP) is a community café based in the centre of Dumfries. It is open weekdays from 9 am – 4 pm and sells a range of drinks, snacks, and meals. The café was established to provide high-quality, strengths-based training around catering …

Read ‘The Usual Place’ here

West Lothian Council

Delivering cooking groups for other agencies The Get Cooking programme, run by West Lothian Council Health Improvement Team, is a long established programme that offers cooking groups to a wide range of participants. Most often the courses are run for …

Read ‘West Lothian Council’ here

Elgin Youth Cafe

Recruiting people experiencing food insecurity to attend cooking courses Elgin Youth Café is a third sector organisation that aims to create a safe haven, social space and development opportunities for young people. Projects include a youth café, after …

Read ‘Elgin Youth Cafe’ here

Action for Children

Sourcing low cost, healthy food locally The Action for Children Family Centre based in Kelloholm, Dumfries and Galloway, provides a range of facilities and activities for families with young children in the area to support the wellbeing of the families …

Read ‘Action for Children’ here

Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE)

Linking in with other organisations CFINE is a social enterprise and charity operating from a hub in Aberdeen. It undertakes a range of food and health activities including running a food bank, selling low-cost produce in local communities, operating F …

Read ‘Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE)’ here

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Identifying and reaching people who may be experiencing food insecurity John Casey works as a Health Improvement Practitioner for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and has a remit for the south of the city. His role includes managing a range of ‘Get Cookin …

Read ‘NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’ here

Edinburgh Community Food

Adapting recipes to suit the group Edinburgh Community Food is a third sector organisation undertaking a range of food and health work. As well as running and supplying food co-ops across the city, it does a range of development and promotion work,  in …

Read ‘Edinburgh Community Food’ here

Edinburgh Cyrenians Good Food Programme goes to Queen Margaret University

Background Recently I (Sue O’Neil-Berest, Good Food tutor, Edinburgh Cyrenians) went to Queen Margaret University to run a session on public health issues with the first year nursing students. In the morning they had lectures about public health legisl …

Read ‘Edinburgh Cyrenians Good Food Programme goes to Queen Margaret University’ here

Tullibody Healthy Living

Background Tullibody Healthy Living (THL) is a community-led health project where ‘tackling health inequalities’ is at the heart of what it does.  Set up in 2003, it is based in Tullibody, a small ex-mining community of 10,000 people in Clackmannanshir …

Read ‘Tullibody Healthy Living’ here

Meal Makers

The most recent project to be launched by the older person’s charity Food Train, ‘Meal Makers’, is a community food sharing project which connects people who love cooking and want to be active in their community (Cooks), with older neighbours (Diners) …

Read ‘Meal Makers’ here

Granton Community Gardeners

Granton Community Gardeners (GCG) is a community gardening project that has been running since 2010. Through adopting a community development approach, the project has resulted in lots of positive outcomes for the area.

Read ‘Granton Community Gardeners’ here

A Healthier Me

‘A Healthier Me’ is a Borders wide project. It aims to ensure that adults with learning disabilities using the 12 learning disability services based in the Borders area receive consistent support and information with eating well and other lifestyle rel …

Read ‘A Healthier Me’ here

East Dunbartonshire Food Co-ops

Bike contraption for making smoothies

The food co-ops in Hillhead and Lennoxtown offer access to good quality, low-cost, fresh fruit and vegetables and to volunteering opportunities, where people can develop new skills and get involved in their community.

Read ‘East Dunbartonshire Food Co-ops’ here

Perth and Kinross Healthy Communities Collaborative

Perth and Kinross Healthy Communities Collaborative is a community-led health promotion initiative. It works with older people from specific communities, and empowers them to improve health and quality of life for themselves and their peers.  Taking an …

Read ‘Perth and Kinross Healthy Communities Collaborative’ here

Kirkcaldy Foodbank

Non-perishable food on shelves

‘For nobody to go hungry during a time of crisis in the Kirkcaldy area and for everybody to share what they can’ is the foodbank’s mission. It provides emergency food for people in need and support them to find longer-term solutions.

Read ‘Kirkcaldy Foodbank’ here

North Lanarkshire Food Aid

North Lanarkshire Food Aid supports people facing hardship and extreme food poverty. It uses a range of co-ordinated interventions designed to deliver a more holistic and longer-term approach than foodbanks have historically been able to offer.

Read ‘North Lanarkshire Food Aid’ here

Healthy Happy Communities Project

Young children digging with trowels with two young mums

This projects runs in disadvantaged areas of Angus, focusing on food and health, particularly for women of childbearing age, pregnant women and the under-fives. It has Healthy Start cafés and community gardening and cooking projects.

Read ‘Healthy Happy Communities Project’ here

Dixon Community Minority Ethnic Day Activity & Friendship Centre

Rice, curry, nan bread and salad

This is a centre for frail older people from the minority ethnic community where their cultural and religious needs are recognised. The lunch club provides the opportunity for members to enjoy a healthy meal in the company of friends.

Read ‘Dixon Community Minority Ethnic Day Activity & Friendship Centre’ here