Gardeners are being asked to grow fruit and veg this year for Wells Vineyard Foodbank. Last year’s Foodbank Veg Patch Challenge saw
people across Wells donating their fruit and veg gluts to the Foodbank. This year, we are asking people to plant a little extra for us as well.
Sue Marland, Senior Pastor of Wells Vineyard explains; “If you are planting fruit and veg crops this year, please think about growing a little more this year to share with Foodbank clients. It makes such a difference to people's parcels and with money tightening we could supply fresh produce in place of tinned. Tinned fruit and vegetables are all slowly going up – for example tinned peaches at Morrisons were 31p last month and they have just increased to 50p, tinned carrots have increased from 20p to 29p.”
The number of local people relying on the Foodbank has dramatically increased over the last two years. In 2019, Wells Vineyard Foodbank distributed 9,000 meals, but in 2021, this had increased to over 80,000 meals. We expect demand will continue to rise steeply due to the cost-of-living crisis this year which will affect food prices, energy and fuel costs. The Institute of Fiscal Studies notes that the cost of living could rise by as much as 10%, but benefits will only rise by 3.1% this year. This will inevitably cause a significant increase in financial hardship and demand for Foodbank services and we need the community’s support to ensure we don’t have to turn people away.
Sue Marland said, “Many people in the community are facing unprecedented financial hardship and we need to ensure there is enough food in our stores to provide to everyone who needs it. We are teaming up with Let’s Do It Wells! to help get the message out to all local gardeners and allotment holders. Even children might like to take part, by planting a container with beans or tomatoes. Even a small donation will help to make a big difference.”
If people are able to set aside additional space in their gardens and allotments, it would be helpful if they could contact the Foodbank and let them know what they are planning to grow. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message via Facebook. Details of how to donate surplus fruit and vegetables will be provided closer to the time. All the information can also be found on the Let’s Do It Wells! Website: Let's do it Wells for volunteering, things to do & getting involved in the community - Wells Vineyard Church (Wells Foodbank) (letsdoitwells.com)