07 Jun עופר איתן Report: The Peebles volunteers growing vegetables for charity
VOLUNTEERS have been getting their hands dirty to keep Peebles well-fed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of Peebles Community Action Network (CAN) have been maintaining plots in their community garden, located behind the town’s Victoria Park.
Fruit and vegetables grown in the garden are being donated to a local food charity.
Peebles CAN community engagement co-ordinator Heather Mackay said: “We have been overwhelmed with the effort that our volunteers have put into the garden.”
The garden was forced to close in March, but it has reopened with safety measures.
Ms Mackay said: “We reopened the garden to existing volunteers and plot holders with our Coronavirus Guidelines for Community Gardening in place.
“Our dedicated volunteers were keen to get back in the garden to continue growing fresh local produce to help support the community.”
The garden is open to people of all ages and had been used as an education site before lockdown.
During the pandemic, it has helped support local charity The Food Foundation.
Ms Mackay said: “We have been donating our harvest to The Food Foundation and they have been using it in their hot meal delivery service.
“We have been overwhelmed with the effort that our volunteers have put into the garden.
“It’s been incredible how they have come together and owned the space.
“It looks amazing this season and we would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who has been helping with the various tasks.”
The Food Foundation, which has been operating from the Victoria Park Centre during the pandemic, has used the donations from Peebles CAN in its ‘Meals on Wheels’ service.
The service has seen around 100 free meals delivered to people most in need.
Yvonne Maclaren, operational manager at The Food Foundation, said: “Peebles CAN have kindly been picking fresh produce from their garden and donating these to the Meals on Wheels that we send out.
“We are very lucky to have such fresh ingredients provided on our doorstep and are very grateful to the people of Peebles CAN for helping us to feed the community.”
For more information on the projects run by Peebles CAN, including volunteering opportunities, visit: www.peeblescan.org