In 2020, STAA launched a pilot project designed to tackle food waste and address food poverty in the local area, this has developed into STAA’s Community Harvest Project. It is an initiative to sow, grow and distribute fresh fruit and veg to where it is most needed in the communities surrounding St Ann’s Allotments.
As well as directing surplus produce from our community gardens and volunteer plot holders, this year we are growing with the specific aim of supplying our local emergency food providers and social cafes. In 2020, we supported 3 local groups with regular fresh produce, this supported an incredible 120+ meals every week for local residents who were experiencing financial hardship, homelessness, social isolation and poor mental and physical health.
Community Harvest’s main partner organisation is SFiCE Social Café based on Ransom Road a five-minute walk from our base on STAA’s Nursery site, SFiCE Foundation is a non-profit charity that helps the homeless and vulnerable in Nottingham, providing a variety of services and projects completely free of charge. Their ethos is based on being non-religious, non-political and non-sectarian. They run a Homeless Outreach project providing meals to those in need in Nottingham City centre, Cooking on a Budget using step by step recipes showing how to create meals for £1 per portion with little kitchen equipment as well as a twice-weekly social café for local residents.
The Social Café not only provides freshly made hot meals, sandwiches and food parcels but an inclusive space for volunteers to work with food and help support their local community. Since September 2020 they have served up 6500+ meals created using surplus food as well as a wide range of fresh produce grown on the allotment site by our incredible volunteers and groups including Space Inclusive, Sutherland House, Carrington Alternative Provision, and Inspire and Achieve.
As part of our environmental commitment, we compost any waste generated on the Nursery and have expanded our offer to now receive back food scraps and cardboard from the SFiCE kitchen for composting on site.
“This is vital to reducing our footprint as an organisation, putting back into the Earth that provides for us so well. Did you know, wasted food in landfill creates methane when rotting, making a negative impact on climate change? Initiatives like ours that divert supermarket food waste back into people’s tummies have multiple sustainable outcomes.”
– Parisa Eliyon, Operations Manager
The STAA Community Harvest project has already helped hundreds of people across our local communities and this year we want to do more. To do this we need your help and support. You can help by donating homegrown produce, or helping us grow on one of ours. We especially need your help to enable us to make our weekly deliveries – One of the challenges of the Community Harvest project is to get the fresh harvest delivered to the community kitchens in a timely manner when the kitchens are open and ready to use them. Currently, we have a need for a driver on a Wednesday afternoon, but we would love to hear from anyone interested so we can set up a small pool of volunteers that we can match with delivery needs as they arise. You will need a full driving licence, access to your own vehicle and appropriate business insurance. Mileage expenses will regularly be reimbursed by STAA.
Able to help with this simple but vitally important task? Email email@example.com or donate if you can.