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2014 Press Releases

Cork gets ready to 'Feed the city'

28 Feb 2014
Ms Denise Cahill, HSE, Dr Colin Sage, UCC and Ms Catherine Harford, NICHE,Knocknaheeny

More than 5,000 people in Cork will enjoy free vegetarian curry at ‘Feed the City’ event to highlight food waste and sustainability issues on 15 March.

A new urban dining initiative, “Feed the City”, will see 5,000 people enjoying tasty and nutritious vegetarian curry absolutely free on Saturday 15th March at Grand Parade, Cork.  The initiative aims to highlight the issues of food waste and sustainability, and will only use vegetables that have been deemed surplus or otherwise going to waste.

The schedule of activities for “Feed the City” is not limited to a free meal however, and there is an exciting line up of street entertainment for all the family, as well as a food trail and exhibition, a series of talks on growing your own vegetables, composting, gardening tips and cookery demonstrations by renowned vegetarian chef and author, Denis Cotter of Café Paradiso and local food writer and chef Mercy Fenton.

Schedule for Saturday 15 March

10am Opening of the ‘Food Trail’ on the concourse outside the Library comprising information stands as well as raised bed and composting demonstration areas.

11am - 3pm Face-painting for children; 

11am – 11.20am ‘What is the Cork Food Policy Council?’ Colin Sage (Chair, CFPC) Demo tent

11.30am Cookery Demonstration: Mercy Fenton (former Executive Chef, Jacobs on the Mall): Title TBC

11.40am-12.20pm Tutti Frutti Cork Community Circus performance

12-12.20pm: ‘What’s new in Healthy Eating’ Caroline O’Connor (Community Dietician) Central Library

12.30pm Official launch by Lord Mayor, Cllr Catherine Clancy of Cork Food Policy Council (Demo tent)

1.00pm ‘Feed the City’

1.15-1.40 ‘Be Smart – don’t buy food waste’ - Colum Gibson (Clean Technology Centre) Central Library

1.30pm Cookery Demonstration: Lucy Hyland (Food & Health consultant) (Demo tent)

2-2.20pm ‘Food Projects in Kinsale’ - Nicholas Harvey, Transition Town Kinsale (Central Library)

2.30pm 'Exotics of the Hungry Gap'- Cookery Demonstration: Denis Cotter (Proprietor Café Paradiso)

3.30pm Closing session: Colin Sage (Demo tent)

16.00pm Close


 “We have become used to eating vegetables that have travelled thousands of miles as we import more food than ever, and our farmers are producing for distant export markets”, explains Dr. Colin Sage, UCC and Cork Food Policy Council Chairman.  “The ‘Feed the City’ initiative aims to show how tasty and perfectly edible food is going to waste, and to change the way we think about our habits when it comes to food”.

The idea for this novel initiative grew out of a food-based initiative in Knocknaheeny, where the local community created and managed a community garden.  The allotments were such a success that those involved extended the project across the city and county to include those producing food from farm to fork. The organisers include representatives from UCC, HSE, food retail, farming, fishing, restaurant/catering, education, environmental sectors and local authorities.

There is a real community spirit behind Cork’s “Feed the City” with Catering students from CIT peeling and preparing 1 ton of vegetables for the curry the day before the event. Two 1,000 litre pots, which will be large enough to cater for the 5,000 servings, are being provided by the Food for All organisation in London, as it was a challenge to find such huge saucepans in Ireland.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Catherine Clancy will serve the first diners at 1pm on Saturday March 15 at Grand Parade, Cork, and all are welcome to come along and enjoy a tasty and warming curry during the Cork St. Patricks Day Festival activities.





The Cork Food Policy Council is a partnership between representatives of the community, food retail, farming, fishing, restaurant/catering, education, environmental and health sectors and local authorities.

Partners include Healthy Cities, Health Service Executive (HSE), Cork City Council (CCC), Cork Environmental Forum (CEF), Bia Foodbank, Cafe Gusto, Musgraves, South West Fisheries, Niche, Health Action Zone (HAZ), UCC and CIT.




  • Health and wellbeing for all

Raising awareness of the importance of a nutritious, balanced diet for all. Improving the availability of affordable healthy food. Supporting a wide range of community growing and other food-related activities to improve physical and mental health for people of all ages.


  • A thriving local economy

Encouraging a greater number & diversity of food enterprises and jobs, making the most of our rich land & sea resources. Sourcing healthy & sustainable food from local producers & suppliers, keeping value within the local economy.


  • Resilient, food-friendly communities

Promoting and celebrating the food and culinary traditions of all cultures through a variety of public events. Supporting local,
city- and region- wide food initiatives that bring communities together and help them to improve their neighbourhoods.


  • Lifelong learning & skills
  • Giving everyone the opportunity to learn about good food – how to grow it, how to cook it, how to eat it and how to enjoy it. Sharing and enabling organisations such as schools, hospitals, businesses and other caterers to transform their food culture.


  • A reduced environmental footprint
  • Supporting food production that protects nature; reduces food miles, packaging and waste; and increases composting and recycling. Maximising the use of greenspace and brownfield sites in and around the city to produce food for local people.


‘Feed the City’ supports the work of the Bia food bank and other initiatives designed to ensure surplus food within the catering retail systems is not thrown away but made available to those who can use it.  The Cork Food Policy Council aim to develop closer ties between farmers in the region and community groups that might include the possibility of bulk-buying schemes. 



University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF