Who runs Peace Feast?
Peace Feast was started in the UK by Bridges for Communities, a Bristol-based charity that pioneered the events in Bristol and Cardiff before expanding to other locations. Anyone can run one, the vision is for Peace Feasts to be happening in communities across the country, bringing people together from different cultures and faiths, and facilitating lasting friendships.
Where did the vision come from?
The original Peace Feast vision came from the work of Peace Catalyst International, a charity based in the who United States whose founder, Dr Rick Love, inspired Sarah Evans in Cardiff to start bringing people together around food in her city. Sarah and her husband Mark began running Peace Feasts in Cardiff and they quickly proved to be highly popular.
Meanwhile Dan and Karen Green, friends of Sarah and Mark, moved to Bristol after working in the Middle East for eight years, to set up the charity, Bridges for Communities. Their vision was to welcome refugees into the city, foster friendships between people of different cultures and build peaceful and compassionate communities across the region. Dan and his friend Rizwan from the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society held their first peace feast as an experiment at a local restaurant and to their surprise, 60 people turned up and had a wonderful night. Peace Feasts took off from that moment on.
Over time, Bridges for Communities started holding bigger Peace Feast events across the city, in neutral venues where different cultures could meet, newly-arrived refugees could feel welcome, and where catering companies run by refugees could showcase their culinary talent. Before long, live music from people of different backgrounds became a central part of the events and refugees and city leaders began sharing personal stories to inspire guests.
As interest grew from people in other cities, Bridges for Communities decided to enable other people to run Peace Feasts in their own communities. Using the lessons they learned along the way, the Peace Feast movement was launched with 'Food,' 'Stories' and 'Friendship' as the three key foundation stones of every event. Where it goes from here... we will find out.
If you're interested in hosting your own Peace Feast or want to find out more, go to 'Run a Peace Feast'.
We'd like to thank the Jo Cox Foundation for their generous grant towards running Peace Feast and for their ongoing support and advice, and to Wessex Water and the Quartet Community Foundation for their grant towards hosting Peace Feasts in Bristol.