Community audit

A community audit is a type of mapping, but goes into more detail than food mapping because as well as finding out about food outlets, a community audit also includes other local facilities and services.

This may include such as shops, schools, health clinics, recreation centres, community centres, cafe's, clubs and community leaders who might be likely to support food projects.

To inform this process, a community audit might list:

  • Physical infrastructure such as community buildings and other facilities;
  • Regular activities going on in the local area such as women's groups, cookery groups and sports clubs;
  • People and organisations interested in economic regeneration and community health;
  • Information about the local population.

Such details should help you to identify people and facilities to support your work. For example, by visiting community centres in your area you may find a venue for your food co-op. By talking to local organisations, you may find partners to help you connect with communities or attract funding. You may also identify groups running cookery sessions or food growing projects that you could work with or buy produce from. As with food mapping to assess food access in the area, a community audit also checks the local availability and prices of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Community leaders, such as chairs of local residents associations, and key figures in local public services are often also interviewed to build up a picture of local food access and whether a project is needed to overcome any identified problems.

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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