According to national organisers, Roscommon hosted six ‘Street Feasts’ in 2019 as registration opens for this year’s popular community event on Sunday, June 26th.
Street Feast is Ireland’s national day of lunches and one of the country’s most successful community initiatives for over a decade. The aim of Street Feast is to build neighbourhood and community networks and tackle social isolation.
In 2019, over 1,000 feasts took place, and this year Street Feast is aiming to grow that to 1,200 as organisers feel there is a real appetite for this type of event since Covid-19.
Sam Bishop, founder of Street Feast said: “Since the last Street Feast three years ago, and after two years of restrictions and lockdowns, our notion of community has altered immeasurably.
“For some, it was an opportunity to bond with neighbours as lockdown restrictions kept us at home more than ever before. Neighbours and community were never more important and people realised the value of local connections. This year Street Feast wants to celebrate those strengthened community connections and create a space for people to re-engage safely with their neighbours”.
96 per cent of Street Feast participants in 2019 said their sense of belonging to the neighbourhood increased after that feast and 97 per cent said their neighbourhood was friendlier after the event. 81 per cent even made plans for more community projects since their feast.
“Numerous studies have shown that social isolation is a risk factor for loneliness which itself is associated with an increased risk of poor health, low wellbeing and mortality,” Sam added.
“Street Feast has huge benefits in terms of reducing social isolation and creating a sense of belonging. We are calling on more people to get involved this year and celebrate these connections by feasting together in person”.
Street Feast 2022 is supported by the Department of Rural & Community Development and Local Authorities.
This year Street Feast is teaming up with community engagement platform ChangeX through the LEGO Foundation’s Build a World of Play campaign to bring more play, more fun and more energy to Street Feasts. Street Feast is supporting the Build a World of Play campaign by providing 200 Playful Street Feast PlayBoxes containing games, activities and resources to bring a fresh playful energy to your street and involve people of all ages in the festivities.