At this time of the year Greater Manchester’s gardens are abundant with fruit. Despite the erratic weather apples, pears, plums and gages (that’s green plum-like fruit) have produced a bumper harvest this year. The sad truth is however, many garden trees don’t get picked and as a result FareShare North West has teamed up with our local voluntary project to provide a solution.
This is either because their owners aren’t able to pick them, don’t want to eat the fruit or there is simply too much fruit for them to consume themselves. This is where projects which pick and distribute unwanted fruit become important. Currently there are two such projects in Greater Manchester, Abundance Manchester and Abundance Trafford (the younger of the two).
Abundance Trafford started last year and we’re still only small. We pick unwanted fruit in Old Trafford, Stretford and Urmston areas of Trafford and distribute the fruit to organisations that work with people in food poverty. It’s enjoyable, satisfying work, but coping with both picking and distribution is time consuming, especially when you try to do it without using vehicles, to minimise the carbon impact of the work.
That’s why working with FareShare is such a boon. Recently we picked about 35 kg of apples from two trees in Stretford. The apples were cookers, which are harder to give away in volume than eating apples, as some organisations are not able to deal with lots of them. So, we had bags of apples sitting in our living room – where to take them?
I rang FareShare, as I knew that some of their community food members (CFM) are based in Old Trafford, to see whether they were going to be delivering in the area in the near future. They said they could collect the apples within a couple of hours, as they were dropping off a delivery locally. This was fantastic, FareShare can deliver smaller quantities of the lovely apples to some of its 35 different CFM as part of a weekly food delivery.
This sort of partnership, with Abundance Trafford picking the fruit and FareShare distributing it means that Abundance Trafford can pick more fruit, safe in the knowledge that it can be widely distributed and FareShare is dropping off and picking up food in the same trip: maximising use of the vehicle.
If you’d like to help us pick, or have a tree in need of picking please contact us