World Food Day success in Newry

Men of all generations came together to juice apples, swap local produce and enjoy a freshly cooked soup on World Food Day

Clonduff Men's Group share seasonal veg

The weather was perfect on Saturday for a World Food Day activity in Hilltown Square. The crisp autumnal morning in Newry, Northern Ireland set the scene for the celebration of local foods hosted by Hilltown Community Association and Clonduff Men’s Group.

Local forager Leo Cullen set up an apple press and provided a hands-on experience making juice the traditional way. It was extra special as the apples used were from a local orchard. Everyone got a sample to taste as well as a bag of apples to take home!

We were warmed up mid-morning with seasonal vegetable soup from local chef Seamus McAteer from The Boulevard Event Catering. The soup was full of flavour and certainly whet the appetite for bartering at the trading table. Plants were swapped for pumpkins, potatoes for onions, beetroot for carrots, tomatoes for kale, scallions for mint, all which were grown in Clonduff’s gardens. A few lucky people bagged home-made damson and plum jams.

The morning was a great opportunity for Clonduff Men’s Group to reach out to men of all generations. Des Hegarty, Chair said, ‘We are a cross community-based group, focused primarily on men’s mental well-being. Over the lock-down we secured funds from Live Here Love Here to create a Men’s Shed, a local hub for men to come together. We’re delighted with how many men of all ages and backgrounds came to hear more and signed up to get involved. We are at the early stages of something very exciting.”

Martina Byrne, Chair of the Community Association said, “We were happy that we could run our event given the current circumstances and delighted with all the support on Saturday. There was a lovely atmosphere and everybody seemed to enjoy the sharing aspect and getting to celebrate the food we have on our doorstep.”

This activity was funded by a small grant from Food for Life Get Togethers. Find out more about support available in your area.

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