Innovative funding to combat food poverty
Mining communities across Scotland are being supported to grow their own fruit and vegetables as part of a project to address food poverty.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) decided to allocate funding to areas that had already participated in its Coalfields Community Futures Programme - a resource made available as covid-19 restrictions meant usual community activities could not be supported.
Funding totalling almost £90,000 has been awarded to more than 20 projects from Fife to Dumfries and Galloway to support the work of community groups, volunteers and other partners.
One project is Grow West Fife which saw a group of volunteers rescue an old walled garden at Blair Castle in Culross during lockdown last year to grow vegetables for local food projects. It was designed to address concerns that Coronavirus would worsen food poverty around Kincardine, Oakley and Valleyfield. CRT awarded the project £4,174 to expand the scheme and recruit community gardeners.
A grant of £2,980 was awarded to Blantyre Soccer Academy in South Lanarkshire to develop Blantyre Community Garden at its new club premises. Funding will help buy equipment for their polytunnel.
Glenboig Development Trust in North Lanarkshire received £5,102 for its food growing and high street project, which will also work in partnership with local schools to encourage the growing of fresh fruit and vegetables.
And the Kirkconnel and Kelloholm Development Trust in Dumfries and Galloway was awarded £5,078 for The Good Share Project which sees elderly people in the area receive a share of surplus crops grown in its allotment.
Nicky Wilson, chair of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in Scotland, said: “Underlying social and economic issues in mining areas have been exacerbated by Covid-19. We have seen more people struggle to be able to afford to feed themselves and provide their families with healthy meals. We hope the funding we’re awarding to groups in coalfields communities across the country will help tackle the serious issue of food poverty.”