STAFF from a kitchen garden in Lancashire are donating fresh vegetables to a local food bank to help those in poverty get some of their five-a-day.
Rhyddings Park Kitchen Garden in Oswaldtwistle is run by two members of staff from Newground, part of Together Housing Group. It opened last winter and has proved such a success that it has yielded more crops than needed.
“Despite providing fresh produce to the cafe, giving some to the volunteers at the park and selling some to local residents, we realised we were going to have more than we could use each week,” said Joanne Shaw, Newground’s volunteer engagement officer at Rhyddings Park. “While chatting to a regular customer in the cafe one day, we found out about the new food bank and offered to donate our excess vegetables.
“Food banks usually only accept non-perishable items such as tinned fruit and vegetables and longer life products such as pasta and rice as fresh produce can spoil quickly. But we have arranged for a food bank volunteer to collect the vegetables on a Tuesday and Saturday when the food bank is on. They are finding that our produce is being snapped up first as the users are very happy to have something fresh that they can use for cooking rather than something that is pre-prepared and packaged.”
Nancy Hindle, a volunteer at Union Road Community Food Bank, added: “This fresh produce is wonderful, everyone has commented how nice it is to have something fresh and healthy to be able to take home with them.”
Main Image: Joanne Shaw, Newground’s volunteer engagement officer at Rhyddings Park, with Union Road Community Food Bank’s Nancy Hindle