Motion S5M-03347: Welcoming the Report, Fun, Food, Folk: The Centrestage approach to dignified food provision

That the Parliament recognises the research report published by What Works Scotland, Fun, Food, Folk: The Centrestage approach to dignified food provision, which focuses on Centrestage’s distinct food provision programme in some of the most deprived areas of North and East Ayrshire; understands that Centrestage is a charity that was established in 2006 and is backed by the social enterprise, Centrestage Music Theatre CIC, which uses food and the arts to engage people, help to improve their life chances and build and rebuild communities; further understands that the food provision programme centres around meals being prepared in a purpose-built kitchen with supplies from Fareshare and other donations, which is then distributed on a refurbished double-decker bus, featuring a kitchen for demonstrations and areas for playing and socialising; notes that the report draws on fieldwork carried out between May and July 2016 across four areas of mobile food provision, including in Kilwinning and the fixed provision site in Ardeer, as well as interviews with 22 Centrestage staff and volunteers, seven of whom were also service users; welcomes the report’s conclusion that the project is underpinned by “a relentless ethic of care and compassion” and “radical inclusiveness” and ensures personal dignity and a fostering of individual and community wellbeing by creating a social environment, as well as a dignified transaction; notes that this is achieved by, for example, framing food provision as a transaction between equal parties as part of an ongoing relationship characterised by reciprocity, bringing people together to address isolation and loneliness, teaching people to cook high quality meals, and offering pathways into volunteering; acknowledges that, in the first 42 weeks of the project, 140,440 food portions were distributed, exceeding the 40,000 originally projected for the entire year; commends the project’s ongoing success, as well as the innovative and compassionate approach of Centrestage to solving food poverty and the causes of increased foodbank use, and wishes everyone involved all the very best for the future

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