Cabbages, carrots, courgettes and tomatoes were just some of the items harvested for donation by Prospect Shopping Centre, with the help of volunteers from Environmental and Management Solutions (EMS).
Hull Harp, which has provided shelter, food, showers and clothing to homeless people for more than 30 years, was first in line to receive the centre’s first batch of freshly gathered crops.
Dianne Waller, roofless and intervention worker at Hull Harp, says having donations of fresh seasonal produce can make a real difference to the lives of the homeless.
“The donations are greatly received because every Sunday the outreach team and other volunteers host a soup kitchen and this week I was able to make a brilliant Sunday roast with the veg from Prospect Shopping Centre,” she said.
“Having fresh fruit and veg is not high on the agenda for most people, so it’s great that we can prepare hearty, warming meals with the produce, otherwise we don’t know what their eating and it certainly won’t be fresh.
“Hull Harp doesn’t rely entirely on generous donations to survive but they do make a huge contribution, so the regular drop offs are going to be a big help.”
The city centre retail destination is currently in the running for the Business in the Community Award in the Mail’s Pride of East Yorkshire Awards for pioneering the rooftop allotment and for its continual charity fundraising efforts.
The centre has long been committed to founding environmental schemes and has won awards in the past for its eco-friendly initiatives.
Lee Appleton, centre manager, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to put the food we harvest to good use. We pride ourselves on being one of Hull’s most community-focused shopping centres and it’s a lovely feeling to know we are helping some of the city’s most vulnerable people.
“Donations of food can also reduce the growing amount of food that ends up in landfill every year, which is not only wasteful but environmentally unsustainable. Waste-saving schemes are very important to us and the centre has been landfill free for three years now.
“We are looking forward to being able to provide other homeless shelters with our crops in the coming weeks, especially as we get into the autumn and winter months which can be an especially hard period for those living on the streets.”
If your charity would benefit from donations from Prospect Shopping Centre, call 01482 324629 for more information.