Northern Ireland news

Coronavirus: Grow boxes distributed to vulnerable people to lessen burden of isolation

Grow boxes delivered by Groundwork Northern Ireland include everything needed to start growing vegetables at home

GROW boxes are being distributed to food banks supporting vulnerable people in a bid to lessen the burden of isolation during the Covid-19 crisis.

Community development charity Groundwork NI said the initiative helped it to meet the challenges of reaching people during the pandemic as well as "encourage people to grow simple vegetables at home during the lockdown".

The packs are being distributed through several organisations supporting vulnerable people during the ongoing crisis.

Last week the first deliveries were made to food banks in Belfast, which were then given out in local communities.

The grow box includes a planter box, labels, gloves, compost, instructions and seeds for vegetables such as spinach, salad leaves and scallions, with instructional videos on social media to help people learn how to grow at home.

Groundwork NI has been supported by the Public Health Agency for the project and has partnered with Ulster University to deliver the grow boxes.

Groundwork NI has organised the initiative

It is the latest initiative from the charity, which works with communities to "enhance their lives, places and prospects from the ground up".

Heather Boyd, Groundwork NI’s community gardener, said "growing your own food has a fantastic impact on health".

"After sowing the seeds there is the excitement of waiting to see the first little green shoots of life, then nurturing the plants to finally produce something edible," she said.

"We always aim to show people how easy it is to grow at home.

"These kits mean you don’t even have to do any digging.

"We hope that people will start a new hobby that will last long after isolation. We’re thrilled to be able to continue to help people grow food during these difficult times."

The organisation said it had received huge interest and demand for the grow boxes from groups across Northern Ireland and will be increasing production and delivery of the boxes over the next few weeks.

For further information email or follow Groundwork NI on social media.

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