WCFD February Newsletter
Welcome to the February edition of the Wales Community Food Distribution (WCFD) newsletter. In this newsletter, we will share project updates and the latest events.
Food Hub and Vending Launches
With St David’s day around the corner, we look forward to celebrating with new food hub launches, and the exciting launch of our first fresh food vending machine. These new facilities and hubs, will help to ensure a sustainable local food supply and will facilitate access to good value, healthy food for the area.
Carmarthen University Food Hub is launching on the 1st March 2023
Celebrate St.Davids day with us at the launch of Carmarthenshire University food hub from 12pm on Wednesday 1st March at Carmarthen University campus (Outside the merlin restaurant)
The food hub will be open weekly to place or pick up orders of fresh vegetables, fruit or salad and much more. They’re looking for volunteers too!
Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock Food Hub with FRAME launching beginning of April
Keep an eye out for our FRAMES food hubs in both Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock. More details coming soon...
Kidwelly Food Hub launching on 13th March
More details coming soon...
Want a Food Hub in your school?
Chat to the team or fill in an expression of interest form to see how the fresh food hubs link to the curriculum and your community. Click here to complete the EOI form
Pembrokeshire Fresh Community Vending Machines
We are very excited to have received delivery of our vending machines, and will be celebrating with our launch events very soon at locations in Milford Haven and Llanteg.
Sue Latham, Project Coordinator says, ‘”This is a fantastic pilot project that will deliver alongside the current Wales Community Food Distribution Project and will operate a flexible, inclusive, environmentally and economically sustainable distribution model, bringing together community groups, food producers and suppliers in Wales stimulating Wales food supply chains.”
5 reasons to become a Community Food Hub Volunteer
Volunteering is a great way to make a positive impact in your community. It allows you to use your skills and passions to help others. By volunteering, you can also gain valuable experience, build new relationships, and learn new things. Additionally, volunteering can improve your mental and physical health, increase your happiness, and give a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. In this graphic, we have pulled together 5 reasons that we think make volunteering at a Community Food Hub a worthwhile and rewarding experience.
Anne Draper is Lead Volunteer at the Tenby Food Hub which runs bi-weekly on a Thursday 1230 – 2pm. Very busy in her community, Anne runs a project to empower adults with learning disabilities, is an essential skills tutor, Co-op Member Pioneer, and also a Town Council Community Engagement Officer.
She took some time to chat with us about her volunteering role at Tenby Food Hub, we asked her what advice she would give to someone interested in volunteering….
“Come along and have a try! We’re happy with whatever arrangement you need, whether you want to bring a friend or just see what it’s like. We want volunteering to be fun at the hub, and it’s a good chance to do something for your community”
Our thanks to Anne and all the volunteers involved in running Food Hubs in their community!
Following a fantastic social media and digital marketing training session with Insynch, our food hubs worked together to explore increasing their food offer for customers and worked with our Produce Officer to reach out to new suppliers, including meat, fish, and much more. Sam tells us that ‘’our volunteers are also developing some great ideas for themed events, so expect fruit bouquets in the near future!”
Here’s some top tips for volunteers to increase the food offer in your community food hubs:
1. Engage with your customers. The WCFD team has a large selection of engaged suppliers for the hubs to access so we’re encouraging volunteers to ask customers what they want to see at their hubs.
2. Create a system for visiting suppliers to use. Having the logistics of supplier visits prepared is very helpful. Creating a framework that’s best for your hub, whether that’s customers ordering in advance or having the supplier sell on the day, will make collection simple and easy for your team. It’s helpful to keep in mind that every supplier is different, so asking them what they’d prefer is always the best option.
3. Reach out. More often than not, suppliers are happy to spend an hour or so engaging with their local communities. Just reaching out and asking suppliers is the best way to achieve results—you'd be surprised at how many will say yes!
Facilitating access to good value, healthy food
As a project we are aware, as many will be, of the headlines highlighting the current cost of living crisis. In November 2022, according to the Consumer Price inflation tables, the inflation rate for food rose to 16.5%, creating pressure and in some cases great hardship for many households.
We also hear frequently about the rise of food insecurity, food poverty and global food supply chain issues. In Wales specifically, with a higher proportion of rural areas, it means that access to fresh, affordable food can be more problematic. The aims of the WCFD food hub project are to:
facilitate access to good value, healthy food
ensure a sustainable local food supply working with local suppliers
reduce food miles and plastic packaging
support the local economy
build community connections
provide volunteers with opportunities to learn new skills
By participating in the WCFD project either as a customer, volunteer or supplier you are supporting the food hubs to bring about positive change across our region.
Check out our events page for upcoming training. Including this Community Food & Nutrition Skills course on 23rd March.
Community Food and Nutrition Course, Level 1 (Agored Cymru Accredited). This is a free, 7-week course (each session is 2 hours) starting on Thursday 23rd March in Pembroke. Spaces are limited and currently offered to anyone linked to one of the WCFD community-run food hubs. Please get in touch if you want to discuss the course and/or book your place.
Volunteer Training: Food Safety Level 2
Friday 24th February 2023, 9am - 4pm | Providence Training Ltd, Neyland, SA73 1SE
Join us for a FREE 1 day course to gain confidence and expertise in your food handling role!
Knowing how to handle food safely is an essential requirement if you are involved with the preparation or supply of food to the public. You will learn how to follow safety procedures and understand the importance of cleanliness and hygiene in the workspace. No prior experience is needed for sitting this course.
For further information and to book your place please get in touch at Fern.firstname.lastname@example.org or 07442 063154
We are pleased to welcome our new Carmarthenshire Development Officer, Alex, who joined WCFD January 2023.
Alex has a BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology and a European MSc in Water and Coastal Management, but chose to turn her interest in the environment and ecology to horticulture and small scale agriculture.
Before working for PLANED Alex co-ran and grew for an organic veg box CIC in Carmarthenshire, though she is still on the Board of Directors for the CIC. In addition to this Alex is also part of the steering group for the Carmarthenshire Food Network. Prior to this she spent many years working as a horticulturalist on big estates and working as a self-employed gardener.
When not working Alex enjoys growing veg at home (recently planting a mini orchard), watching her hens with a cup of tea, playing outside either on land or on water and spending time with her family.
Get in touch!
If you would like to talk to the team about supplying, supporting or running a community food hub, please get in touch at email@example.com
Part of a community group that would benefit from a food hub? Have a space to host it? Ready to submit an expression of interest? Follow the link here
Want to keep up to date with us?
Check out our social media and you can also check out our monthly reels.
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Or contact us: WCFD@planed.org.uk