Bute companies team up to tackle food poverty

Bute Produce and Bute Advice Centre have joined forces to try to tackle food poverty on the island.
Bute Produce and Bute Advice Centre have joined forces to try to tackle food poverty on the island.

Bute Produce, a subsidiary of Fyne Futures, has received £1,675 to work in collaboration with Bute Advice Centre on an innovative pilot to tackle food poverty on Bute.

The pilot project will explore how growing your own vegetables can provide people with an alternative choice to supermarket shopping, combining with healthy eating on a budget advice sessions.

The pilot will support up to 12 households undertaking training in horticulture, specifically around container growing. This will be in the form of four ‘Grow Your Own’ workshops at Bute Produce’s market garden, at Ashfield, Rothesay.

If participants would also benefit from improving household budgeting skills, Bute Advice Centre has trained qualified staff who can assist in developing these essential life skills.

Argyll and Bute Community Health Partnership Health and Wellbeing Fund have committed £975 to the project, with £700 of match funding from Argyll and Bute Council Third Sector Grants. Fyne Futures is donating £450 of project management time to the project.

Reeni Kennedy-Boyle, General Manager of Fyne Futures said: “It is sad that there are members of our community suffering food poverty, and nutritional issues that result from lack of fresh produce in our diets. This pilot will help us determine whether Growing Your Own fresh produce could help tackle this issue. It is also an opportunity for Fyne Futures to work with Bute Advice to combine our strengths in support of vulnerable people.”

Commenting on the award, Ronnie Armstrong, Senior Horticulturist at Bute Produce, said: “Learning to grow vegetables is very rewarding, there are so many benefits for health and well-being as well as reducing costs on the weekly shop”

Bute Advice Centre’s manager, Julie Semple, said: “The option to grow their own food may prove to be a healthier and financially beneficial way forward, alongside the mental health benefits of achieving something very rewarding.”