It all started down at the allotment!
Are you an allotment holder interested in helping others? Here's a story which will inspire you to sign up to Foodshare:
Foodshare originally started on an allotment where growers realised they often got the same surplus crops and struggled to swap with other holders. After filling neighbours and friends boots with more courgettes than they knew what to do with, often surplus would go off and end up on the compost heap. A heart-breaking moment for any grower!
At the same time, food prices for fresh fruit and veg are rising, and will continue to do so as energy prices increase. As a result, those that need fresh food the most - charities - are unable to afford it.
Enter Foodshare! A pilot scheme at the village allotment in Milton, Cambridgeshire began in 2009. We talked to the Children's Hospice a few hundred metres down the road and asked them if they would like any surpluses we had. They were over the moon.
A collection bin (called the "Donation Station") was set up at the entrance of the allotment. The results were overwhelming. In three months over £1,000 of fresh produce was donated by allotment holders, substantially reducing the hospice's spiralling food bill. What's more, the children were now eating the freshest food they could have - local, seasonal, and from harvest to plate in less than twenty-four hours.
In 2010, many allotment holders are planning to increase their donations, by creating a Foodshare Bed, where all the produce will go to the Hospice. Some are growing specific crops, other have a bed to plant any left over seeds and see what grows!
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
If you would like to set up a Foodshare scheme on your allotment, we've put together a Foodshare Allotment Guide to show you how easy it is!