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Local Lunch & Learn | Civic Europe
Community development, Environment and sustainability

Local Lunch & Learn

Local food - the direct route to sustainable living. Lower cost, less waste, more nutritional value.


Who is behind this?

Iskra Staykova

Sustainable school association



Idea pitch

Our idea is to create a model for transition to a sustainable local food system in the Stara Zagora area. By presenting good practices from BG and EU municipalities, initiating events for various social groups, involving local institutions, science and businesses we aim to preserve local biodiversity, develop balanced use of local resources and agricultural land, promote healthy nutrition for children and adults, improve the economic environment and reduce the effects of climate change.

Where will your project idea take place?

The city of Stara Zagora, Southeast Region of Bulgaria

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

1. Economic: The impending transformation of the Maritsa Basin's coal companies and mines will leave nearly 12,000 people unemployed and about 100,000 people affected. Therefore it is extremely important to initiate an inter-institutional dialogue where the sustainable model we propose is presented as an alternative employment option.
2. Unsustainable production and consumption patterns: lack of food waste disposal facility, overconsumption or consumption of foods with poor nutritional value leading to non-communicable diseases and high mortality. For Stara Zagora and the region it is 16%. The curricula lacks information and fails to educate and develop habits for a balanced and healthy diet and sustainable living in children and the youth.

Who are you doing it for?

All groups in the food chain will be connected by building short supply chains. Our main target groups are: local small and medium enterprises, farmers, consumers, educational structures - universities and schools, civil society organizations and public institutions at the local level. The users would be: children and young people, parents and the general public including local communities.
Insufficient communication and knowledge between the participants lead to slow or no reaction or readiness to deal with health, environmental and economic challenges.
The commitment of all participants in the chain will ensure the sustainability of the model we offer. Building a stable relationship between all these key stakeholders will create an endurable and meaningful model.

How do you plan to get there?

1.Local mapping - Identification and involvement of the main stakeholders and target groups at different levels using open dialogue and classification of opposing views
2.Capacity building for local action groups - 3 round tables (rt) for the stakeholders which are structured by the following types of target groups:
rt1 - main target groups for identification of economic and social needs and opportunities for realization of a local model of food system - producers, suppliers, local authorities and educational structures
rt2 - main target groups to identify and improve good practices and their practical implementation - nutritionists, chefs, environmentalists, industry and consumer organizations
3.Questionnaire and a survey of public attitudes as an opportunity to involve civil society in its role as a direct participant and decision maker in the implementation of the sustainable model at the local level
4.Promoting the project model in the public space through different types of communication channels
-media: local and social
-presentations: open days on farms, university experimental fields, local farmers market
-culinary workshops in local schools
5.Creating a project of the digital model for a sustainable circular food chain
6.Final event - presentation to the public and institutions of the digital model and the possibility for its implementation at local level

What are the expected results?

The methodological framework and multidisciplinary approach will contribute to expanding the range of participants in the local food chain. It will be a prerequisite for economic, social and cultural development of the region and will generally facilitate the transition to a sustainable way of living. On the other hand, the popularization of our digital model will encourage its realization and adaptation to the specific needs of the different regions in the country. Last but not least, after the implementation of the project, it is extremely important for the local municipal administration to take the necessary legal actions to change the regulation to guarantee the process in the long run.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Citizen participation in the decision-making is a key component of initiating public deliberations. A prerequisite for creating sustainable communities is the use of leadership and volunteering among citizens, organizing the various project meetings;
We rely on initiative groups to promote the model for a balanced way of living.
Lack of cooperation between the stakeholders in the local food chain will be overcome through the consolidation of economic and social structures at the local level. The goal is to create new niche markets in the long term which on the one hand will create additional value, and on the other will meet the requirements for the creation of local networks and partnerships to improve the communication and marketing strategy for local food.

Why is this idea important to you?

All of us believe that local food is a key factor in moving towards a sustainable lifestyle.
The team includes specialists from a number of fields such as: law, economics, architecture, digital marketing, social PR, etc. Most of us reside or are connected to the region, with an active civic position and know in detail the local traditions, problems, mentality. On the other hand, the team has many years of international experience in the studied issues and the specifics of the region, which is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of the project.

€ 30000,-

Total budget

€ 30000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Costs for materials, consumables and other eligible costs - 7100
Personnel costs - 7000
Public relations - 1800
Travel and accommodation - 1600
Consultants -3500
Events; strategic meetings with key stakeholders; workshops - 5500
Project management - 3500

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

It is very important for us to get feedback from different civil associations actively working on changing the existing food model in Europe, different approaches to conserve local biodiversity, consumer attitude and changing the educational curricula in schools related to sustainable way of living.


Sustainable school association

Idea created on April 26, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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