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News Archive > General > Food for 5,000 Christmas meals

Food for 5,000 Christmas meals

By Warren Wilkins 17th December 2020

Food for 5,000 Christmas meals
Ben Quinn and Paul Saunders with Newquay Orchard’s Monique Hyland and Jen Andrews collect donations from Riviera Produce; above, interns harvesting at Newquay Orchard

Newquay’s community garden is set to distribute more than 5,000 freshly made meals across the town this Christmas.

Newquay Community Orchard, in partnership with Cornish food charity The Hive and Canteen at the Orchard, will be creating the meals using surplus ingredients from suppliers across Cornwall to feed families most in need over winter.

The Orchard’s role is as Newquay’s food hub, a central distribution point for donations. The idea is to divert perfectly usable food from landfill, to experts who can use it to create healthy, tasty meals for community use.

The multi-partner project will utilise the Orchard’s seven-acre site and new commercial kitchen facility in Kowel Gwenen, the community building.

The meals will be created by the team from Canteen at the Orchard. The project has started with the creation of more than 1,200 meals in the first week thanks to the first donation from Riviera Produce, one of the county’s largest producers of fruit and vegetables.

Jen Andrews, the head of social innovation at the Orchard, said: “This project is incredibly exciting – but it’s also essential. “As an environmental and social organisation, Newquay Orchard is passionate about leading systemic change – and the issue of food waste and food poverty is still so prevalent in 2020.

“This year has been difficult for people from all walks of life and there is more need than ever to be resourceful and innovative and to work together to support those in our community who need us.”

Newquay Orchard was awarded funding from the Lottery CV19 Response Fund in July to set up the food hub. Riviera Produce will continue to supply surplus veg, after starting with 20 crates of cauliflower and cabbage this week.

Alongside donations from county-wide suppliers are fresh vegetables sown, grown and harvested by volunteers at Newquay Orchard.

Hetty Ninnis, the sustainable landscapes manager at the Orchard, said: “It’s been long in the plans for An Lowarth, our community grow space, to be a growing hub for community need and I’m delighted to see it coming to fruition already.

“Our interns loved being involved in the harvesting of the very first donations for this project and will play a huge part in its future.”

Jen Andrews said: “The Canteen team are well-versed in creating beautiful, healthy, wholesome meals for their community and are therefore the perfect partner for us to work with for this project.

“This project may be in a pilot stage –with work to do to iron out all the finer details – however there is no doubt that it will be a lifeline for many, using food which otherwise would go to waste.”

Canteen at the Orchard’s Ben Quinn and Paul Saunders said: “The values of all the organisations involved line up so perfectly that only good can come of this collaboration – and goodness is what we need after this difficult year.

“We cannot wait to be open at the Orchard in the New Year.”

By Warren Wilkins 17th December 2020

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