With an estimated three million children at risk of being hungry during the school holidays in the UK this summer, and as food bank usage is reportedly hitting record highs, Welcome Community Garden and Breath of Life Community Garden have joined a nationwide initiative to grow and donate fresh fruit and vegetables to those in need.
The charitable initiative sees gardening brand Miracle-Gro connect with FoodCycle projects across the country, including Birmingham, to support those at risk of food poverty and social isolation. With the long-term aim to alleviate the nation’s food poverty crisis, the partnership hopes to kick-start a trend for green-fingered Brits to use their hobby for a wider social purpose by donating their surplus crops.
To achieve the surplus crop, Welcome Community Garden and Breath of Life Community Garden will be armed with supplies of Miracle-Gro results-driven plant food. The All-Purpose range promises 50% extra tomatoes and 10 times the fruit weight of courgettes compared to unfed: produce which will then be put to good use to create delicious, nutritious meals for those experiencing hunger and loneliness.
Gardener at Welcome Community Garden, Sam Marsh, commented:
“Within community gardens, we grow a range of fresh fruit and vegetables. Coupled with the pressure food banks are facing, there is clearly scope for us to support those in need. By using Miracle-Gro All-Purpose Liquid Plant Food, we will be able to grow a larger quantity of edibles, which we’ll be donating. This is incredibly rewarding and has the potential to make a real difference to our communities. I encourage others with an allotment or garden patch to do the same.”
Justin Powell, Regional Manager at FoodCycle in Birmingham, commented:
“Since 2009, FoodCycle has served over 250,000 meals to those in need, and we are excited for the potential of our partnership with Miracle-Gro to grow this figure further. The volume of fresh produce from the local growers will help ensure our meals continue to be delicious and nutritious. We believe firmly that food waste and food poverty should not co-exist; this is the perfect way to put the surplus produce achieved to good use.”
Lindsay Cooper, Plant Food Category Manager at Evergreen Garden Care UK Ltd., commented:
“Despite 86% of the UK population having access to their own green space, over a quarter (26%) use their outdoor space for eating, entertaining and sunbathing only. We are urging these people to try their hand at growing fruit and vegetables with Miracle-Gro. Combined with those who already grow, the volume of extra yield produced and made available for projects like FoodCycle could be huge.”