A community project in Brechin has taken over an allotment which will see users benefit two-fold, by helping to grow the produce they can then use to help feed their families.
Brechin’s Community Pantry is continuing its good work in the area with its latest innovation set to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for people in the town.
The pantry is a key project in Brechin, handing out food that people really need and also providing help for individuals of all ages.
Their efforts are helping to feed hundreds of people every week and, thanks to a new allotment, fresh produce will be available for clients next year.
Chairwoman Kathy Calderwood said that volunteers are thrilled with the latest venture which will not only provide the produce, but will also help with the mental health and wellbeing of people who use the service.
“Things have been moving on with the pantry. One of our trustees is a keen gardener and he’s taken on an allotment in Brechin,” she said.
“It’s part of the Dalhousie Estates and there was another plot next to him that was available, and he has got this second allotment and we are going to be providing food and produce from it for the pantry.
“We are going to go one step further with it in an effort to help the mental health and the wellbeing of clients so we are going to get them involved as well. It might seem like a simple thing and a simple idea but it is something that will make a massive, massive difference.
“During the winter there is always work needing to be done; digging, clearing and preparing. At the moment it’s just a piece of ground and there’s a lot of work to be done.”
Clients of the pantry will be involved right from the outset of the project and they will play a key part in the initiative.
Kathy continued: “I was down the other day with George Garden and Ian Christie (see main image) where we had a look at what was needing to be done and where we are going with this. We will start to get some of our clients hooked up with George, preparing the ground, helping with what needs to be done for the winter so it’s ready for planting season.
“We have got polytunnels going up so we will be able to get year-round produce as well. It’s early stages, but things are started.
“We want to be able to produce fresh produce for the pantry but also be able to give some folk who aren’t able to get out and about because they have nothing really to do, to help give them a sense of purpose.”
On the fundraising side of things, the pantry was this year’s chosen charity at the Brechin Castle Centre and on Tuesday volunteers were out in force during the centre’s 20% discount day for Christmas.
“Some of the pantry trustees and volunteers were helping to sell raffle tickets on the day which was the culmination of the year-long partnership raising funds for the pantry,” continued Kathy.
“We really appreciate them making us their chosen charity and it was nice to go down there and help raise some money on the day and do something really positive as part of the partnership.”