As the Covid-19 lockdown came into place, local growing project Edible Futures managed to secure a land share arrangement with a local livestock farm to grow veg for people in food poverty in Bristol. Two months later, this veg is ready.
This week Edible Futures will begin to distribute this produce through a system of ‘Solidarity Veg Boxes’. With this scheme, people who have the means can sponsor a weekly veg box for a local family in food poverty. Money for the scheme has been kick-started through a fundraising effort by local artist Rosanna Morris, who has raised more than £1000 by selling wood cut prints, which will fund the first round of veg boxes. The first Solidarity Veg Boxes will be distributed next week to asylum seekers in Bristol facing food insecurity by local organisation Borderlands.
Humphrey Lloyd, grower at Edible Futures, said, “It’s exciting to be in the position to produce the healthy food people so desperately during this difficult time. The issue for us however is that simply to stay afloat and pay ourselves minimum wage, we have to charge prices that make our food unaffordable to the poorest people in our community. Why, in the fourth richest country in the world, can the poor not afford good food, and farmers end up seeking charity in order to get them vegetables? So while it’s important to be able to offer these Solidarity Veg Boxes, we also need to address the inequality in our society that makes this project necessary.”
Steve Owen, drop-in manager at Borderlands, said; “At Borderlands we work with people who receive just £40 a week from the Government for food, transport, communication and other essentials, or who have no income at all and are totally dependent on others for their food. Our members tell us that having fresh, local, healthy food to offer is really important to them, as a lot of standard food bank fare is not culturally appropriate. Fresh veg is nutritious and versatile, allowing people to make dishes that they want to eat and know how to cook. The fact that it was grown in Bristol only emphasises the message of ‘Welcome’ to those who have overcome great hardship to be here.”
People can support the project by sponsoring a solidarity veg box via https://ediblefutures.com/