Bank on home-grown

Community spirit continues to thrive in Bucks 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 more than two tonnes of fresh, locally grown food to food banks and community fridges across the county.

Angela Macpherson, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: ‘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.’

Grow to Give works by encouraging people to produce more food in their garden or allotment and to donate the surplus.

Collection sites are set up at allotments, making it quick and easy for residents to donate.

Volunteers organise donations on site and co-ordinate deliveries.

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 donated food.

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:
• More than 11 tonnes of food has been collected and redistributed.
• A total of 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.

Ms Macpherson added: ‘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 co-ordinate donations and deliveries.’

The scheme is supported and funded by the council’s public health team and the Helping Hand team, working with local food charities and organisations.

How you can help:
If you have an allotment plot, or grow at home and would like to get involved with your local Grow to Give scheme, contact Justine Hamer on 07810 155 450 or email her at: growtogive@icloud.com
For more information on Grow to Give and other community food projects, visit: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/cost-of-living/help-with-buying-or-accessing-food/