Saturday, 25 May 2024
Saturday, 25 May 2024

Charity becomes a victim of crop theft amid national food poverty crisis

FOR more than 40 years, the Camphill MK community has grown its own fruit and vegetables to feed the 70 residents (adults with learning disabilities) who the charity supports.

Residents who live across sites at Willen Park and Pennyland select from various daily workshops and activities, offering them meaning and purpose in their daily lives. 

Many residents participate in the Gardening Workshop – growing produce free from pesticides, following permaculture principles, and learning about sustainable horticulture.

Gardening isn’t just a pastime for the Camphill MK community. It produces their sustenance – the food harvested supplies their houses and the onsite vegetarian Café, providing healthy and nutritious meals supporting their wellness.

Unfortunately, the community has been victim to food theft recently. Some may refer to this act as innocent ‘scrumping’, and Camphill MK recognises that food costs are forcing some individuals to look for more creative ways to get food. But this picking of their food is impacting the charity and the residents it supports.

Like everywhere else, Camphill MK is struggling to manage the escalating costs of energy bills and staffing costs, but they have been proud to continue offering a balanced and healthy diet. 

Head gardener Giorgia told us:

“We plan our planting and harvesting carefully to minimise food waste and make sure we can and will use what we grow. This year our apple trees have been targeted, possibly because they have produced a good crop; we are waiting a few more weeks to harvest the fruit before sending it to be pressed for apple juice.” 

Camphill MK have joined up with the MK FoodBank for their MK Can campaign, to secure 132,000 cans of food to support food poverty in Milton Keynes and break an official world record of the longest continuous line of food cans. If you would like to donate a can or two to support those struggling to feed themselves or their loved ones, you can make a donation outside the Camphill café at Willen Park.  

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