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Image for learning opportunity Guarantee food security based on local ecosystems

Guarantee food security based on local ecosystems

Guarantee food security based on local ecosystems

Guarantee food security based on local ecosystems

Our challenge

During the last decades, there has been a tendency to stigmatize people who cannot cover certain basic needs, such as food. Public food guarantee policies have not helped much either. But in a small municipality in Barcelona, in Prat de Llobregat, they believe they have succeeded in transforming the system to empower this group of people and foster a joint ecosystem with food producers. However, they do not know how this new system has affected the population, nor whether they have achieved the objectives that were proposed. If they can manage to find it out, they could put into debate the food guarantee policies that are made in the European Union. Hence, the goal of this challenge is to study the real impact that this service model has on the community and to provide evidence of the transformative benefits of its implementation.

Study format
Application period
21 January – 20 February 2024
Study period
19 February – 9 May 2024
Hosting university
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
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Learning outcomes

Identify the main challenges generated by the current eco-social crisis for citizens.


Learn to work in a team and in an interdisciplinary way.


Understand new food guarantee models.


Study how the different food guarantee systems are developed in the EU.


Understand the food production process and why the most vulnerable groups are deprived of it.


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La Botiga (The Shop) is a food guarantee, community empowerment and sustainability project, which arose as a response to traditional food distribution strategies in the face of food insecurity situations suffered by the most impoverished groups in the community. It is a project that evolves towards self-management, as the goal of a government model, and that is articulated on two major axes: the social and the environmental. La Botiga is organized in a self-service and/or assisted sales model. There are products preferably from food reuse and the local market, where organic, seasonal, and local products will prevail. In this sense, it is a model of food guarantee that starts from an emancipatory logic, of community empowerment and that does not stigmatize the users, since they are the ones who carry the service. A groundbreaking model and different from that assumed by most municipalities in the EU, which work from a final service logic based on cash register cheques. At this point, it is necessary to ask which of the two models brings more benefits to citizens. To find it out, it is necessary to measure the different social impacts that each of them has.


How could we know the real impact that this service model has on the community providing evidence of the transformative benefits of its implementation? We must consider the context in which we will find ourselves from next September, when the European Union will close the European Aid Fund for the Neediest (FEAD), relegating all food policy to cash checks.


Stakeholder: el Prat de Llobregat City Council

Hosting University: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Hosting university

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Challenge provider

El Prat de Llobregat City Council