Abundance works by organising groups of people to pick fruit each summer and autumn. The tree owners may be unable to pick the fruit themselves or have so much fruit that they know that it is more than they can use and are very pleased for it to be passed on to others. We are aware of wild fruit trees that can be harvested too. In previous years there have been more offers of fruit to pick than there have been volunteers available to harvest it.
This year we want to recruit more volunteers, and we are going to install a walk-in metal container to store the fruit. To get the fruit to people who will benefit most we link with voluntary groups to pass it on at food banks and community cafes, and having storage will make it possible for more agencies to take part. We ourselves will run more juicing and preserving events in group settings, enabling local communities to interact over fun and healthy activities.
What we'll deliver:
- Improve storage facilities -install a walk-in metal container kitted out with shelving.
- Link with more tree owners who donate fruit.
- Run more fruit-related activities that are open to all and free.
- Recruit more volunteers and support them to take part.
- Work with more partner agencies that will use and distribute the fruit.
Why it's a great idea:
We already know this idea works because in 2015 we achieved a lot
- The Abundance harvest weighed 450 kilos, which would cost at least £575 in a supermaket.
- The harvest included cherries, plums, pears, eating and cooking apples.
- Most of the fruit was distributed through agencies including children's centres, food banks and community cafes.
- We took part in four events at which we used the fruit for juicing.
- The fruit was collected from 10 sites and was picked by 20 pickers attending once and 8 several times.
Fresh fruit is good for York residents because:
- It is healthy - more fruit in the diet is a preventative step, reducing the likelihood of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
- It helps the family budget - fruit is relatively expensive, and families are on low incomes so saving money is beneficial.
- It builds stronger communities - neighbours get to know each other, volunteers gain skills, everyone enjoys themselves.
Steps to get it done:
- Promote the project to find fruit trees and volunteers.
- Procure walk-in container and install it on site.
- Nominate a trustee as day to day co-ordinator of the project.
- Devise a programme of fruit-related events, go on to organise juicing, jam-making etc.
- Sign up partner agencies who will use and distribute fruit.
- Ensure essential policies and procedures are in place, and we are able to monitor and evaluate.
- Hold an end of year party in celebration for volunteers, tree owners, investors and supporters.
We believe the project will succeed because there are underlying strengths and assets. There is a site set aside for the storage container, which will be rent-free, and volunteer events are covered by Edible York's insurance. We already have bike trailers, crates and a number of tools. Edible York was set up 6 years ago and became a registered charity in 2014. There are 7 trustees and between us we have a wide range of relevant skills and experience.
We believe this expansion of the Abundance harvest in 2016 will be the foundation for even more benefits for local people in future years. There will be wider geographical coverage, a greater volume of fruit handled and more people actively involved.