Community spirit shines

Community spirit shines

An initiative by a local regional town aimed to encourage community connection, aid with the cost of living crisis and reduce food waste has grown roots.

The Glencoe Public Hall Committee first put out its grow free cart at the start of last month which included non-perishable food, animal food, plants and fresh produce donated by the community for other residents to take.

Since its first outing, the cart has proved to be such a growing success that it has been put out every day since for use by the regional township.

Glencoe Public Hall Committee member Rebecca Alexander said they had a lot of donations on the first day, most of which were taken by community members.

“We have seen that it’s being used from both donations and people taking from it so it looks like it is going to be here to stay,” she said.

“A lot of people were going and donating and taking stuff at the same time and a whole range of different items were donated.

“People said they were able to share excess produce they had or they were able to take a little bit of fresh produce home to have dinner that night.

“We also had things like tomato plants donated so people were taking them home to start growing their own tomatoes.

“It probably got used more than we expected and more donations then we expected initially being the first day and the first weekend but it has just proceeded to grow.

“During the week we have found it does die off a bit with people at work so they cannot get there to donate but then on the weekends it ramps right up again.”

Mrs Alexander said there had been a variety of items being donated.

“We have been getting a range of stuff from seeds to produce and myself on behalf of Animal Rescue Cooperative have been putting some dog food on there,” she said.

“We have been having pantry food as well like cereal and pasta and tinned food.

“We do find the fresh produce goes quick and the others take a little bit longer but it’s all being used.

“We have also been finding it’s a range of people, it’s not just people that are struggling financially that are utilising it, it’s the whole community.

“We are finding kids are doing up little packets of seeds and writing on the packets so even kids are getting involved with their parents.”

Mrs Alexander said the committee are looking to improve the cart, especially for the colder months.

“We still want to get a canopy made up for it and we will come up with a plan of what we are going to do in winter with it to keep it waterproof so it does not get wet because we still want to have it out in winter,” she said.

“There is going to be certain times of year there will probably be less produce to go on it but while it’s being used we figure we might as well keep going and we just have to improve on the actual cart itself.

“What we would like to do eventually is get a community garden happening at the hall.

“Then the community can take fresh produce from that and the fresh produce from that can go up to the hall to the cart as well.

“It will just make more community things that people can do together and feed the community.”

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