Scotland’s first vertical farm has been playing a part in feeding vulnerable people in Dundee during the coronavirus pandemic.
Community groups have been helping deliver food produced by Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd (IGS) at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie.
Prior to lockdown, the site has been used for research and development purposes only but after the Scottish Government’s call for businesses to support communities, bosses decided to use the salads, herbs and vegetables they had been growing to help.
The firm worked with Dundee City Council and local charities to help get the food to the people who needed it most.
Dave Scott, IGS chief technical officer, said: “With local shops and supermarkets facing challenges with their supply chains and sourcing fresh produce, the team was keen to share the produce we’re growing to help those who have been most impacted by the pandemic.
“It was a logistical challenge for us but that’s the sort of thing we love to tackle and the team here worked really hard to figure out how we could pick, pack and deliver our produce in a safe, convenient and hygienic way.”
Faith in Community Dundee is among the community groups involved in the scheme.
Director Jacky Close said: “At this very challenging time, when people are being pushed into poverty, we’re very grateful for all support.
“The fresh salad provided by IGS is very much appreciated and is quickly distributed each week by different projects. Fresh food is always a welcome addition to any food parcel.”
The recipients of the food packages include the Dudhope Multicultural Centre.
Sohini Mukhopadhyay, who works at the centre, said: “We are a multicultural community centre and we work with some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
“Due to Covid-19 we haven’t been able to hold our usual lunch clubs, leaving many of our elderly members unable to access nutritious meals.
“We started a new programme and are now delivering meals and groceries to our most vulnerable members three times a week. We provide two portions on each delivery so they can eat the second portion the following day.
“It has meant that we can be sure that our elderly members can keep having nutritious food and stay well during this time.”
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