CropDrop is coordinating the redistribution of surplus fruit and vegetables from bountiful allotments and growers in Bath and North East Somerset. Volunteer drivers transport the produce to charity projects that provide food, alleviating food poverty, strengthening communities and minimising food miles.
The "CropDrop" project originated from a discussion between Milly Carmichael, Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) Council Food Poverty Officer, and Dr Lyn Barham, Food Convenor of Transition Bath on July 20th 2020.
The team now consists of five volunteers, supported by Milly Carmichael. On 9th August 2020 three allotments in Bath began donating to four Bath food projects. By October six more allotment site growers had been linked with fourteen further food charity projects across B&NES - in Keynsham, Peasedown St John, Radstock, Paulton, Temple Cloud and Midsomer Norton. Woolley Grange Hotel Market Garden also began sharing their occasional abundant produce.
A typical CropDrop operation is as follows:
There was a positive response to the ‘shout out’ for volunteer drivers over social media, the B&NES 3rd Sector Group Compassionate Communities Hub, radio and email callouts to community networks. Over 25 volunteer drivers came forward; 9 of them were deployed in the first 3 months. In some cases, the volunteer drivers have come forward from the allotment growers or the charity projects themselves.
In addition to regular allotment drops the team have also been able to respond to individual large one-off distributions, including 200 yards of kale shared with nine projects on one day, harvesting from two laden apple trees shared with ten projects and 600 squash and pumpkins shared with 38 projects. By the end of 2020, over 150 CropDrop journeys had been achieved and an estimated 1,700kg of fruit and vegetables, enough for one portion of fruit and vegetables in over 21,000 meals.
Where does the project grow from here?
Encouraged by the impact and the new community connections established in 2020, the CropDrop team is considering options and developing plans for 2021 including:
For more information, visit Crop Drop website or follow @CropDropBanes on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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