Bringing people together with food

GIVING BACK: Feed It Forward volunteer coordinator Bev Laing is one of the gardeners that the project hopes to receive vegetables from.

by Jackson Russell

ROMSEY and Lancefield Neighbourhood Houses are joining forces to help provide a place for people to get around the community but also help those who struggle to meet their food needs.

The Feed It Forward project aims to take advantage of some of the extra fresh produce that’s available in the area and use it to bring people together through cooking and sharing food.

The project also is aimed towards people who might feel isolated, want to meet people and be a part of the community.

Volunteer coordinator Bev Laing said the project will setup at the Lancefield Farmers Market on the fourth Saturday of each month from September and take donated produce from local gardeners, as well as from the market’s stallholders.

On the following Wednesday, they will host a big cook-up where everyone can come together to cook and eat the meals.

“We’ve got some pretty fantastic recipes already worked out that would take the kind of produce that people would likely be growing in this neighbourhood in winter,” Ms Laing said.

“Anyone can come, anyone can cook, anyone can just come and eat or anyone can grow stuff for it.”

Each month the community harvest will be set up at the Lancefield Farmers Market but the cooking will alternate between Romsey and Lancefield each month.

Numerous community groups have gotten behind the project, from the CWA to churches to Lancefield Primary School, which wants to expand its gardening program.

Ms Laing said at the first meeting for the project, organisers realised how much surplus produce there is and the generosity to go with it.

“I’m a gardener and I love to grow vegetables. Lots of people have enough space around here that they could easily grow an extra row of vegetables and what I’m hoping is that in spring, we can find gardeners who can put in a row of lettuces or spring onions or carrots and give those to us too,” she said.

Ms Laing also hopes that once the project is up and running, in warmer months when there’s more produce, they will be able to portion and freeze some of the meals and give it to local food banks.

The first Feed It Forward community cook-up will take place at the Lancefield Mechanics Hall on Wednesday, September 26.

For more information, contact the Romsey and Lancefield Neighbourhood Houses.