Real Food Wythenshawe supports local people to grow and cook their own food. It promotes growing, cooking, the environment and sustainability. The programme has supported 64 community growing groups, 7 allotment sites, and engaged more than 7,200 people in regular community growing and cooking.
At Wythenshawe Park, Real Food delivered 132 volunteer sessions and 330 workshop hours up to the end of 2016. It has helped the community farm by re-launching the farm shop, an important revenue stream, and takings have increased by 568%. Abundant fruit has been used for juicing and preserving workshops.
Two commercial poly tunnels housing heated beds and ‘grow light-boxes’ have been built and equipped with staging and furniture made by volunteers. A tomato forest has been grown using both hothouse and the walled garden which is also used for vegetable production. More than 2,700 people have been engaged in growing at the park.
At the Real Food kitchen at Wythenshawe market, the team showcases local produce and demonstrates nutritious meals cooked from scratch. Since 2014, they have given out 16,873 recipes and cooking tips, and more than 10,000 tasters of freshly cooked food.
The Geodome The Manchester College Wythenshawe Campus, has hosted 886 visits from students, and 65 external group visits. At the transport interchange at Wythenshawe town centre, the award-winning edible interchange provides free food for the community including herbs, rhubarb, wild garlic, seasonal vegetables, and over 70 fruit bushes.
Through community events such as Garden City Festival and Wythenshawe Games, 15,208 people have engaged with the programme and 24,525 people have been informed about local food growing and healthy eating.
Volunteers have given more than 14,000 hours, equating to £188,730 of social value for the local economy.