Lockdown gleaning benefits community groups

April 2020

April 2020 will definitely be recorded as one of the quietest months on record in many ways. Lockdown led to less traffic, fewer people in public areas and closed shops.

Nevertheless, it was business as usual for plants – lockdown wasn’t going to halt their growth. Pauline from the Netherton Feelgood Factory kindly volunteered to go on this year’s first farm glean to collect and share beetroot, cauliflowers and cabbages.

The farmer had tons of beetroot left from a cancelled order. Under the safe hands of Feedback Global’s Gleaning Network staff, we were given strict guidelines on how to collect the food – come alone or with a member of your household, come at a designated time slot and cancel if you show symptoms. These were just some of the safety guidelines laid out for us and all for good reason.

Lockdown has placed many people into difficult situations, including food poverty. These vegetables – which otherwise would have been headed for landfill – were distributed to ten community groups and organisations in Sefton and Liverpool who cater for those in need or in care.

After the success of our ‘glean and cook’ event last October, we had high expectations of running gleans and cook events at least three times a year. We wanted to take different groups to the farms for harvesting, then cook and eat together afterwards as a way to build partnerships, friendships and a resilient community.

But then Covid-19 appeared. So during this period of uncertainty, we aim to continue gleaning in a modified way to deliver fresh food to organisations that are working hard to feed so many families across Merseyside.

Let’s hope it will be safe enough for us all to get together at one of our amazing community gardens later this year to do a local forage, harvest, cook and eat.