'Multicultural lunches': sharing food in post-Brexit south coast of England
Food can be considered a substance that brings people together through its material and sensuous qualities, through affecting shared memories of people and place, and through traditions of hospitality. It is a human necessity with multiple levels of communal understanding, and conviviality. Currently, much of the UK faces the fragmentation of communities based on closely divided political views. In this case, conflicting feelings related to Brexit, migration and refugees. This paper offers a qualitative analysis of a series of `multicultural lunches' - named and organized by a local equality advocacy charity and partner volunteer organizations. The multicultural lunches took place in 2017. Drawing from 13 semi-structured interviews and 6 participant observations we provide detailed discussion that links food with leisure and community. Analysis of the findings illustrates the nature of local response to broader societal fragmentation and conflict, and offers discussion of the value of food to community development.