Locavore Good Food Fund is taking an organic approach to fighting food poverty as managing director Reuben Chesters hits out at supermarkets who charge foodbanks for food and essentials.
The social enterprise wants to help build a more sustainable local food economy, and recently launched its Good Food Fund, calling it “an alternative approach to a foodbank”.
The Good Food Fund runs out of Locavore’s grocery store on Nithsdale Road every other Monday and uses cash donations from members of the public to distribute local organic produce and store-cupboard staples at cost price to those in need.
Referrals for food packages currently come from The Space, a charity that works out of its hub on Alison Street.
Margo Uprichard, project leader at The Space, said: “It strikes at the very heart of people’s struggle to meet their most basic need for nutritious food.”
Volunteers weigh and pack the bags, giving them work experience as well as a bag of food in return for their contribution to the project.
Food bags are made up partly of fresh, organic produce from local producers, including Locavore’s own market garden, along with bulk staples such as lentils, flour and tinned tomatoes which Locavore can buy cheaper in bulk.
Reuben commented: “I think it’s absolutely appalling that supermarkets can profit from food poverty and go as far as to promote customers buying certain items to give to foodbanks.”
He laid down the gauntlet to corporate food giants, saying: “I challenge them to follow our lead and offer cost price purchasing to foodbanks.”
The Good Food Fund feeds 25 people per week using cash donations received from customers. Locavore is keen to increase the number of people it can help by looking for more donations from the public, and is also keen to partner with other foodbanks to provide good food at cost price which can be passed on to those in need.
Reuben added: “Lots of people in society are going through a really hard time at the moment and finding themselves joining the record numbers at the door of foodbanks around the country.
“Locavore exists to try and make food more sustainable and do more for society; that’s about getting local and organic food out there, but it’s also about encouraging people to support progressive food initiatives like ours.”