Nasc launches ‘What’s Food Got To Do With It?’ report

Thu, May 15, 2014

Cover-page-0 (1)Last evening, Nasc launched the report ‘What’s Food Got To Do With It? Food Experiences of Asylum Seekers in Direct Provision’, written by Keelin Barry.

The report was launched by John McKenna, food critic and author of the well-known McKenna’s Guides.  John recently wrote an opinion piece for the Irish Times on the right to cook and the cruel and degrading treatment of asylum seekers in direct provision, which you can read here.

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Keelin Barry introducing her findings

Keelin Barry, author of the report, presented on the findings. A previous resident of direct provision also spoke about her experience of living in direct provision for nine years.

The report is based on a research study which was conducted by Keelin Barry for a Masters in Public Health thesis in 2011 with the support of Nasc. As part of the research, Keelin interviewed asylum seekers living in direct provision accommodation centres in Cork City about their experiences with food.

Nasc’s CEO Fiona Finn chaired the evening and spoke about how food has become a strong signifier of a broken asylum system.

“Issues around food – ranging from access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food to the lack of autonomy and healthy family life created by the inability to cook for your own family – are just one facet of the experience of living in direct provision. It is a system designed to isolate and degrade people, who are forced to live in limbo – sometimes for years – while their application for refugee status is pending.”

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Nasc CEO Fiona Finn discussing the need to reform direct provision

To download the report, click here.

To read some of the media coverage for the launch, click here and here.