To our supporters and friends, writing this, we – like all of you of course - find ourselves in a very different situation to the one we imagined just a month or so ago.
We are aware that we’ve taken longer than many to send out communications on our response to this crisis. We’ve been taking time to plan and re-organise, both for the immediate and longer term -believing that many of the changes we are experiencing in local food systems, may well continue.
So, whilst sadly we won’t be inviting you to get involved in the activities we’d planned, we wanted to let you know that all has not stopped! Our teams at Kindling and Veg Box People are busier than ever, responding to a huge increase in interest in local food.
So a huge thank you to all the amazing people we work with. Our own teams, our local growers and other food distributors we work with, our volunteers, and those working in local food systems all over the country. We want to acknowledge the hard work and the importance of what you are all doing.
And thank you to all of you, for your ongoing support. We feel it is particularly important in this moment to acknowledge the relevance and importance of our shared work and vision. A vision of a fairer, more sustainable and caring food system and society, and the clear role that our resilient local food models have in creating this for the future.
Now more than ever we need to, and can, continue to provide not only practical support through fresh healthy veg, but the hope that a better time and world is possible. So thank you for your help with achieving this.
Woodbank Community Food Hub is (in happier times) a thriving hub of activity - connecting people with food and with each other. We are currently not able to do that in the way that we normally would, but we are finding other ways to support our communities. So, here are 6 things to know about us during lock down:
1. We will be open again as soon as possible, once the lock down is over, with lots of community gardening and volunteering opportunities to get involved in.
2. Our exciting programme of community events will still happen. Our funders have been fantastic and have agreed that for now we can focus on growing as much food as possible and that we can run our events at a later date, so no one needs to miss out!
3. Everyone on site is classed as a key worker. If you pass the site on your daily exercise in the beautiful Woodbank Park, you will be able to see people working away. This is because food production is regarded as an essential service and we are doubling our efforts to grow fresh delicious fruit & veg for Stockport and our communities.
4. We have put in place strict measures to keep our team and park users safe. We have strengthened our procedures to keep our staff, small groups of dedicated volunteers and veg customers safe. We have in place a new tool cleaning station, hand wash stations, strict adherence to physical distancing and protective equipment offered to anyone at work - including masks speedily made for us by Stitched Up (and Chris’ Mum).
5. We are growing as much food as we can! With the huge increase in interest in local veg and the complications of getting hold of veg from further afield, we are ramping up our veg production. We are, however, currently in what is known as the ‘hungry gap’; a time when there is lots of work to do, but little in the way of veg to be harvested from our fields. Weather permitting, we hope to be harvesting our first crops in June.
6. You can collect a Veg Bag of local organic, fresh produce from Woodbank every Thursday. While we wait for our crops to grow we work with a number of other local farmers (and farmers further afield) to produce a veg bag of fresh organic produce, available for local residents.
With huge love and best wishes, from the Kindling Team