Welcome to Local Food
Local Food is a £59.8 million programme that distributes grants from the Big Lottery Fund to a variety of food-related projects that are helping to make locally grown food accessible and affordable to local communities.
Local Food is now closed to all new applications, but you can keep up to date with all our news here on the website.
Click on the box to the left to read the latest updates from our funded projects, or click here to read and leave your comments on our new Local Food team blog.
You can also keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook by clicking on the links in the box on the bottom left, read our latest news below, or sign up for our enewsletter.
A Social Return on Investment Approach
In March 2011, the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) were commissioned to undertake an assessment of the Local Food programme using the Social Return on Investment (SROI) framework, an established methodology recognised by the Cabinet Office that has been developed from social accounting and cost-benefit analysis.
In SROI, monetary values are used to represent outcomes, which enables a ratio of benefits-to-investment to be calculated and the amount of social, economic and environmental value created for every £1 invested in the programme.
During the Local Food Celebratory Event in November 2013 at the Lowry, Manchester, Professor Paul Courtney from the University of Gloucestershire presented the initial results from the SROI report to 130 delegates, including dignitaries from the sector, Local Food funded projects and other interested parties.
The findings suggest that every £1 invested in Local Food returns £7 to society in the form of social and economic outcomes including health and well-being, training and skills.
Local Food Heroes 2013
Local Food Heroes 2013 is an initiative to give our projects the chance to recognise and celebrate the outstanding people who work hard to make their project a success.
All Local Food projects were invited to nominate a group or an individual who they believe is worthy of the title Local Food Hero 2013, and these were then voted upon by the public.
Voting closed at 5pm on 1st July, and we willl shortly be unveiling the winners in each of our 9 regions of England. Watch this space!
Local Food: 101 inspirations & aspirationsA recent academic evaluation of the Local Food programme found that it is building communities and improving lives in many different ways, by supporting hundreds of projects around the country (see links below).
But we've also been busy asking the people involved in the projects what it is that inspires them about the Local Food programme, and what their aspirations are for the future.
Take a look at 101 things that inspire people about Local Food, and 101 aspirations for the future to read a selection of short comments from the people on the ground who run our projects day to day, who have the local insight and hands-on expertise to inform their views about the Local Food programme and its future.
Local Food - More than just the vegAt an event at City Hall in London on 18 October, we launched the interim findings of an academic evaluation of Local Food.
The report, called "More than just the veg - Growing community capacity through Local Food projects", shows how Local Food projects are going beyond their aim of making local food more accessible and affordable, and are building community capacity across England.
At the event, delegates saw three films which demonstrate how Local Food is growing community capacity by building material capacity, building personal capacity, and building cultural capacity. Click here to see them, and join the discussion on our Twitter page #morethanjusttheveg. You can also read more about the event, including a summary of key comments, by clicking here.
Local Food's Big Review
Take a look at 'Local Food's Big Review', our online community which is built up entirely of Local Food projects. From farmers' markets to allotments, beekeeping to a community cafe, this inspiring landscape will give you a taster of the areas and projects where Local Food is having a positive impact.