Community spirit continues to thrive in Buckinghamshire as the popular Grow to Give scheme marks its third successful year.
In the past 12 months the community food initiative has further developed and expanded, providing over two tonnes of fresh, locally grown food to food banks and community fridges across the county.
Grow to Give works by encouraging people to grow more food in their garden or allotment and to donate the surplus to community food banks and fridges.
Collection sites are set up at allotments, making it quick and easy for residents to donate. Volunteers organise the donations on site and coordinate delivery to their local food bank or community fridge.
To accompany the fresh produce, a series of recipe cards has been developed to help with ideas on healthy and nutritious ways to use the fruit and vegetables which have been donated.
The scheme has grown in popularity since it began in June 2020. There are now 19 active allotment sites across the county, with the newest in Amersham opening earlier this year.
Since the scheme began three years ago:
- Over 11 tonnes of food has been collected and redistributed.
- 250 growers annually donate fresh produce.
- Produce from the scheme has contributed to more than 16,500 food parcels.
- More than 3,500 people and families have benefited from the scheme, receiving healthy, home-grown produce for free.
Angela Macpherson, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Buckinghamshire Council said: ‘It is wonderful to see communities continuing to pull together to support each other in this way. I would like to express my thanks to all those who have grown and donated produce and also to those who have given up their time to coordinate donations and deliveries. With so many people continuing to face cost of living pressures, schemes like this are vital, helping to ensure everyone has access to fresh and healthy food they may otherwise not have been able to afford.‘
The Grow to Give scheme is supported and funded by Buckinghamshire Council’s Public Health team and the Helping Hand team, working in partnership with local food charities and organisations. The scheme relies on the generosity of the growers and the volunteers who work behind the scenes to ensure the food is delivered to local people through community food projects.
Anyone with an allotment plot, or if you grow at home and would like to get involved with your local Grow to Give scheme, please contact Justine Hamer on 07810 155 450 or email her at [email protected].
Further information on Grow to Give and other community food projects can be found on the Buckinghamshire Council website at www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/cost-of-living/help-with-buying-or-accessing-food/.
*Source of information : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.