Food charities have been facing a significant rise in demand for food since the start of the pandemic, and the Springhead Trust is now working with a new national scheme to help supply fresh vegetables for the local community.
Since the summer of 2020 Springhead has been contributing produce from the productive gardens to Open House, the weekly support service for local families in need in the Shaftesbury area.
In May 2021, Open House developed Open Fridge – a community fridge and freezer in a shipping container, which is open three days a week. Produce from Springhead which is not used by Open House now goes to the Open Fridge, explains Catherine Simmonds, Co-ordinator of Springhead’s Productive Gardens project: ‘This allows a much larger range of fresh and frozen donations to be accepted. ‘We’ve therefore been able to contribute boxes of fresh produce and feel confident that they can be used. This month we’ve delivered fresh courgettes, beans, tomatoes and cucumbers.’
Under the banner of Grow to Give – a national scheme which links growers, allotment holders and school gardens to their local foodbank via on-site collection boxes – Springhead is now a partner with Shaftesbury’s Mampitts and St James allotments and Shaftesbury Home Grown community farm. The scheme reduces food waste as well as providing home-grown vegetables for the community.
Pictured above and below: Catherine Simmonds of the Springhead Trust with Nikki Hall, project manager for Open House and Open Fridge in Shaftesbury.