Hartlepool allotment owners pledge veg to feed crisis-hit families at Christmas

CALL: Back row, left-right: Al Wales, Joanne Taylor, Darran Hutchinson and Clive Hall with (front row, left-right) Waverley Terrace Community Allotment users Gary Walton and Paul Stockton

CALL: Back row, left-right: Al Wales, Joanne Taylor, Darran Hutchinson and Clive Hall with (front row, left-right) Waverley Terrace Community Allotment users Gary Walton and Paul Stockton

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COUNCIL chiefs are delighted with the support for a campaign to make sure crisis-hit families tuck into a traditional Christmas dinner.

As part of the Big Christmas Dinner Challenge, allotment holders across the town have agreed to “pledge some veg” for distribution via Hartlepool Foodbank, which is part of the Trussell Trust network.

Staff from Hartlepool Borough Council will be delivering boxes for donated produce to allotment sites across the town on Friday, December 12.

The filled boxes will then be collected on Thursday, December 18, by members of the council’s Allotments Team and Waverley Terrace Community Allotment before being handed over to the foodbank the following day for immediate distribution.

The boxes will also contain an information pack with suggested recipes and advice from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign on how to make the most of the festive contents.

Kate Ainger, the council’s environmental projects officer, said: “Since launching the Big Christmas Dinner Challenge recently we have been delighted with the level of support shown by allotment holders across the town.

“We know that many local families are desperately struggling to make ends meet and more and more are being forced to turn to Hartlepool Foodbank for help.

“There have been many pledges of veg and, hopefully, we will be able to make it a happier Christmas for many people.”

The council is running the scheme in partnership with the Allotments’ Tenants Focus Group, the Foodbank and the town’s Waverley Terrace Community Allotment which offers opportunities to children and adults with physical and learning disabilities, and people with mental health problems.

The donation boxes are being provided by town firm Fruit Fair, of Oxford Road.

Ms Ainger added: “The staff and volunteers at Waverley Terrace Community Allotment will be assisting with the processing and packing of the boxes and they have also offered us the use of a van to help with collections.

“We’d also like to thank the town’s allotment 
associations and Fruit Fair for their support.”

Collections of filled vegetable boxes will take place at the following allotment sites and times on Thursday, December 18: Nicholson’s Field and Summerhill, 9.30am; Thompson Grove and Haswell, 9.45am; Thornhill and Stranton, 10am; Throston and Rossmere, 10.15am; Chester Road and Station Lane, 10.30am; Briarfields and Woodcroft, 10.45am; and Burn Valley, 11am.

Further information about the challenge is available by calling the council’s 
Allotments Team on 
(01429) 523406.