We held the first of 2016’s ‘pay what you feel’ Community Cafés, at the Methodist Church Hall, Fore St, Totnes, on Saturday 6th February, 2016. Encouraged by good feedback and a regular following, we have decided to continue to run these events on the first Saturday of every month.
• fresh organic food created from surplus produce is served anytime between 12.30pm to 2.30pm
• see the Events page for upcoming dates
Guy’s response was to offer us fruit and vegetables that don’t quite make the grade for the Veg Boxes.
This grade-out, which is used to supply his staff with fresh fruit and vegetables, feeds them two meals a day, and also supplies a local primary school with school dinners, and also often ends up being fed to the cows or composted.
“It’s either feast or famine” said the boss, “but I hate to see perfectly good veg going to waste.”
From that generous offer, ten projects have now been supplied with fresh free organic fruit and vegetables every week since the beginning of January. Over 5000kg of produce has been collected, and an estimated 4000 meals cooked. The floor managers make sure that there are several crates of grade-out vegetables ready for us to sort out and deliver.
Some of our volunteers say it’s like Christmas every week!
The projects are local, benefit small children, young mums, the homeless, folks living with mental health issues, offenders, people in drug and alcohol recovery, and all of them use the fresh produce as an integral part of their work with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in our community. Having the vegetables encourages people to learn to cook, share meals, join in, eat well or sometimes, just eat.
With the vegetables, our local children’s centre have started a Soup Cooking session with families after school; last week, there were thirty all cooking and eating together. We are teaming up with local health providers to teach people how to cook great meals from scratch.
We decided to begin a social enterprise, Food in Community CIC to keep on making use of all of these vegetables, and when the season begins, go gleaning too. It would not have got off the ground without the fantastic support from Riverford Organic Farms which have made available the “graded out” organic fruit and vegetables from their national veg box scheme.
“Food in Community CIC: Set up to rescue fruit and veg and deliver it to projects and organisations locally making lovely delicious nutritious meals for all. We collect local and organically grown surplus produce and redistribute it in our community.”
Food in Community CIC have been supported by donations from the Plunkett Foundation under the Making Local Food work scheme, the Paige Adams Trust, local town councillors Alan Gorman, Jacqi Hodgson, Judy Westacott, Robert Vint, and ex Devon County Councillor Paula Black.
- Food in Community has won a £25k lottery grant and are upgrading the kitchens in the Civic Hall, so more wonderful meals can be made and shared together
- for more information, see www.facebook.com/FoodinCommunityCIC or email Food in the Community, or telephone 0784 602 1248
- read a Guardian article about Food in Community here