Community gardens donate to food banks across London

By Lizzie May

That’s a turnip for the books!

London’s community food growers have donated more than 3.5 tonnes of fresh food direct to those who need it via food banks.

Community Harvest, an initiative led by London’s food growing network Capital Growth, has been working with 40 community gardens across London to supply more than 3,500kg of food to families since July.

The cabbage, carrot and courgette crusade to provide fresh fruit and veg has taken place in South London gardens Mitcham Community Orchard and Phipps Bridge Community Garden, both in Mitcham.

An anonymous service user said: “This is wonderful because I can feed my family a balanced meal.

“There’s always a choice of fresh food, including fruit and veg.”

Steve Verrall, manager of Rainbow Community Centre in Barnet, which has received produce from the initiative, said: “The food has been well received by all of our clients, many of whom would not be able to feed themselves and their families without us.

“Without the donation our clients would have mostly dry and canned goods which do not provide enough variety or nourishment. This is a great initiative which has helped many individuals and families.”

“While the Community Harvest was not set up to solve bigger issues of food poverty, it has highlighted how urban gardens can provide great amounts of healthy food for local areas.”

Andy Smith, from Putney youth empowerment organisation Regenerate, recipient of the fresh produce, said: “One family was blown away by the way they could see from their kitchen table where the food was being grown.

“This is an extra support each week and has been a lifeline for many.”

Fiona McAllister, coordinator of Capital Growth, explained that the benefits of the project go further than simply providing food.

She said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the sense of community fostered between those growing and receiving food.”

To help, go to: https://www.capitalgrowth.org/community_harvest/

Pictured top: Community garden workers (Picture: Tansy Honey)


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