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Priti Patel backs grow your own food scheme for the vulnerable

Jacqui Stone (left) and Wendy Bixby (right) of Abberton Rural Training showing Priti Patel the grow your own food starter pack.

Priti Patel backs grow your own food scheme for the vulnerable

Published: 13th July 2020 - 10:32 am Category: Local News

Witham MP, Priti Patel, has thrown her support behind a grow your own food scheme for individuals or families with financial difficulties who may be shielding and socially isolating in the Braintree District. The project is organised by Abberton Rural Training in partnership with Braintree District Council and provides free starter packs.

The starter pack includes a planter, a potting tray, a bag of compost and a selection of seeds for vegetable and salad plants. Windowsill packs are also available for those who don’t have a garden.

The starter pack, including a planter, a potting tray, a bag of compost and a selection of seed packets for vegetable and salad plants
The starter pack, including a planter, a potting tray, a bag of compost and a selection of seed packets for vegetable and salad plants

150 free packs have now been allocated to vulnerable individuals and families across the Braintree District and residents will begin to receive the packs next week, deliveries are being coordinated by Witham Community Hub and distributed from Witham Football Club.

Priti, who examined the starter pack herself on Friday (10th July) when she met with Jacqui Stone, CEO of Abberton Rural Training, said: “This is an excellent scheme for those people who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 and for whom a visit to the shops or a supermarket is still a potential risk. This free starter pack will help them make a start at growing their own food, which will hopefully cut down on the number of visits they have to make to retail premises for basics like salad and vegetables.

“Growing your own food is also a terrific hobby that encourages you to spend more time in your garden, in the open air and is a surprisingly good form of exercise.”

Jacqui Stone said: “We are delighted to bring our Grow Your Own project to the Braintree District after its successful rollout in several other areas. Being able to have a positive project during this time really helps people to cope with the challenges of isolation. Many have found that they can join together as a family, helping children find out where food comes from and really enjoy the fruits of their harvest! We are providing online videos to help them make the most of their new vegetable plots and many have reported that they now have the gardening bug! Thank you to the whole team, including the Witham Community Hub, who are supporting us with the deliveries for this area.”

All residents are welcome to take part in growing their own at home, they don’t need to have a starter kit to join in and view free online tutorials, as well as link up with others via a dedicated Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/287374349293821 for Braintree District residents.


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