UK food policy assemblages link a broad range of actors in place-based contexts, working to address increasingly distanciated food supply chains, issues of food justice and more. Academic interest in social movements, such as Sustainable Food Cities, has in recent years taken a participatory turn, with academics seeking to foreground the voices of community-based actors and to work alongside them as part of the movement. Bringing together literatures on multiscalar food governance and participatory methods, this paper investigates the intersection of food policy networks via a place-based case study focused on the co-convening of a community acting to co-produce knowledge of household food insecurity in a UK city. By taking a scholar activist approach, this paper sets out how
a place-based cross-sectoral food community mobilised collective knowledge and brought together a community of practice to tackle urgent issues of food justice. Drawing from Borras 2016, it will explore how scholar activism requires the blurring of boundaries between thinking and doing in order to both act with, and reflect on, the food movement. The issues of actively driving forward a food network, along with the tensions and challenges that arise, are investigated, whilst also foregrounding the role academics have in linking food policy and praxis via place-based food communities.
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