Community garden grows fruit and veg for food bank
published on 24 Jul 2023
Community garden grows fruit and vegetables for food bank
A church and charity has launched a community garden which includes a fruit and vegetable growing area whose produce will be donated to a local food bank.
The Salvation Army in Southport has redeveloped disused land at the back of its church and community centre, located on Shakespeare Street, to create a community garden, complete with fruit and vegetable growing area, and will donate fresh produce to the Trussell Trust food bank supporting members of the Southport community struggling with the rising costs of living.
As the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables remain at an all-time high, The Salvation Army has used its fruit and vegetable patch to grow lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, radishes and sweetcorn. The fresh produce is placed in food parcels alongside key food bank staples such as pasta, rice and tinned meat to people in need of support.
Kathryn Casserley, community manager at The Salvation Army in Southport said: “The way our fruit and vegetable patch is set up, we can grow fresh produce every month of the year and it is important for us to provide fresh locally-grown food to people who need support and if we can help to stock the food bank that we work in partnership with at the same time, even better!
“We see first-hand the impact that the rise in the cost of living has had on individuals and families and food banks are rightly geared up to offer non-perishable food, but we believe that everyone should have access to fresh food and wanted to put those thoughts into action, making not only a difference to the variety in the food parcels, but to people’s lives too.”
With ambitious plans for the community garden taking shape, its redevelopment will include a relaxation and reflection area, a woodland area complete with firepit and a grassed area for family picnics. While the work is underway, people who don’t have access to a garden are welcome to drop in and use the spaces available.
Kathryn added: “Our community garden is a different way to help people integrate into the area in which they live whilst also bringing about positive wellbeing through enjoying the outdoors.
“We know that not everyone has access to outdoor space and with the school holidays almost upon us, some families will struggle to get their children playing safely outdoors.”
The community garden is open for drop in Monday - Friday from 10am – 3pm and can be accessed either through the car park or via the community café within the community centre and children must be supervised at all times.
The Salvation Army is funding the work to the community garden and has a Just Giving page, dedicated specifically to its work within Southport www.justgiving.com/southportsalvationarmy and whilst donations of all sizes are welcomed, people are encouraged to donate only what they can afford.