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Last year GC and its veg scheme members donated nearly £70,000 worth of fresh organic produce to community partners to help feed East London’s most vulnerable. We’re hoping to reach a similar figure this year.
We feel strongly that fresh organic food should be accessible to all and we always try to do our bit to support the heroic everyday efforts of local groups to get hot meals and food parcels to people who’ve been let down by society.
Some 20% of the food donated last year was directly given by veg scheme members via the Food Credit Scheme. In addition to this we also regularly donate surplus food from the pack and uncollected bags to local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and migrant initiatives that provide free hot meals. The Food Credit Scheme was set up a few years ago as a way for our members to donate towards this effort, and it’s helped us significantly boost the quantity of food donated.
And over in Barking and Dagenham, where our farm and the Better Food Shed are based, we helped out during the lockdown to provide £4000 worth of produce to the Barking Foodbank, plus we provided over £7000 worth of food via the FoodNet project, which provided a free healthy meal delivery and recipe kit service to over 50 local families.
Even though lockdown is over, life is a lot harder this winter for people who have already been struggling through the pandemic. With the recent fuel price increases and Universal Credit cuts, the food banks are experiencing higher-than-ever demand and stocks are running low. We’re so glad to be able to bolster their store cupboard supplies with fresh organic food so that even the poorest in our communities can be well nourished.
If you’re going away or taking a break from your veg bags this festive season, you can donate the value of those bags to the Food Credit Scheme instead. We’ll make sure all the money is spent on produce for the Hackney Foodbank and other local initiatives.
When you log into your account, select the “Book your holiday or donation” tab. This gives you the option to select which weeks' deliveries you'd like to donate to the Food Credit Scheme. As the bags on 22/23 December are double-value bags, if you choose to donate that week, you’ll be donating double your bag value.
If you've already cancelled some of your bags this December, but feel like you want to donate them instead, then you can untick the holiday booking and click through to donate the bags instead. If you get stuck, then email our team and we can amend your orders for you.
We accumulate the value of all the donations from members and then we do a bulk delivery of fresh fruit and veg, every week to Hackney Foodbank and occasionally to a variety of other local initiatives including schools that are running food parcel schemes.
We work with them to ensure we order and deliver the produce that they want and that’s appropriate for them, such as staples that have a long shelf life: potatoes, carrots, onions, apples, oranges and bananas are popular.
Let’s help more people eat well this Christmas!