Grounded Community – Feed Our Community Project

Published 14.5.21

It’s great to see community re-organising and re-connecting as we draw towards a post pandemic future. As part of this, We Have the POWER is delighted to support Grounded Community, an education charity working toward a more sustainable urban environment.

The Bournemouth based charity educates and supports people in their food growing efforts, and provides a great community space for people to enjoy the mental health benefits of food growing. Their ‘Feed Our Community Project’ both grows fruit and veg and also collects food surplus from 65 supermarkets a week, turning both into boxes for households in need.

Very excitingly, they are now developing a community composting scheme – aiming to provide refill compost made from food waste – both saving single use plastic and encouraging people to go peat free.

Find more on their website here

Read more from Michael French the founder below:

As we draw towards a post pandemic future, community organising and re-connection is at the forefront of imagining and creating our new normal.

Grounded Community education charity have been ahead of the curve in this regard. Since 2014 this project has been working toward a more sustainable urban environment and recognise food to be front and centre in this endeavour. For 5 years a community garden and local farm was home to an enterprise that grew produce and supplied to eateries and residents, raising awareness of fresh, locally grown vegetables. Taste, nutrition, food miles, waste and energy all contribute to the reasons why locally grown or better still, home grown is so good.

In January 2020 this project became a charity and one year later had raised nearly £100’000, ran a successful Crowd Funder and progressed to running 6 projects, employing 5 people across 4 sites.

The main purpose of the charity is to educate and support people in their food growing efforts, alongside this community organising around food, has then developed Feed Our Community Project. This is combining of a community fridge project with a box scheme, which collects food surplus from 65 supermarkets a week and turns it into boxes for households in need. You cannot believe what gets dis-guarded!

We Have The Power became interested when we heard this group were developing a community composting scheme. In 2020 the group were donated a ‘Rocket Composter’, which can process 3 tonnes of food waste per month, turning it into 2 tonnes of compost, to be used for local food growing. Now a pilot scheme is being launched to engage local business and residents to take part and see what compost can be made. There is capacity for growth here too, by dehydrating the food waste first more can be produced. Compost bags can also be re-used offering refills for residents and to create different types of compost for potting or topping up growing beds.

This is just one of the replicable projects Grounded Community is developing. Bee keeping, food preserving, skills programme and home growing networks are some of the others.  Check out more detail on our website here

These developments have not been in isolation.  Partnership and collaboration has been essential in these locally creative solutions to global issues. The local shopping centre and Food Bank house two of these projects, smaller community groups such as SOBO Wastebusters and Your Planet Doctors are working alongside to engage the community and help change consumer attitudes.  Grounded Community feel we need to be much more community-sufficient and stop thinking about self-sufficiency in the hope that ‘Together We Can Grow’.

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