Toolkit: reducing food waste at home

Last updated: 30 January 2023

Grow to Give

Grow to Give is a community food initiative providing fresh, locally grown food to food banks and community fridges across Buckinghamshire.

Food charities have faced a significant increase in demand for food since the pandemic started. Bringing communities together to ensure food bank clients and those using community fridges can access fresh, nutritious food.

Achievements and feedback

Grow to Give's achievements so far include:

  • having 20 allotment sites (1,123 plots) participating in the project
  • receiving 8 tonnes of fresh produce donations (the equivalent of 8 giraffes in weight) since starting in June 2020
  • working with 5 food charities across Buckinghamshire
  • supporting over 1,000 local people and families with fresh food in 2022

Feedback from clients receiving the fresh produce:

“It’s hard to be healthy in times like these so fresh vegetables are a luxury! Even to make something simple like fresh soup.”

“Helped me ensure my toddler has plenty of fruit and veg.”

“Is great to have fresh as an option, especially when you can cook, definitely tried new things as some veg I received have never purchased before. So grateful and was always the fresh products in the bag I looked through first. Thank you so much, loved them and am so thankful that everyone made this possible.”

How the scheme works

The concept of the project is for people to grow more food in their garden or allotment and donate the surplus to food banks or community fridges. Collection sites for produce are set up at each allotment site, making it quick and easy for residents to donate.

Volunteer champion allotment holders organise the donations on site and the delivery of the produce to their local food bank or community fridge.

You can find your nearest local allotment site with a Grow to Give donation point using the interactive map on the Grow to Give website.

Supporting the community to make use of fresh produce

Fresh fruit and vegetables often go to waste for different reasons.

To reduce waste and support the families receiving the produce in their food parcels, Grow to Give provides a series of recipe cards (hard copies) and accompanying online recipe videos. The recipes are placed in food parcels and promoted through the Grow to Give website.

All recipes are:

  • seasonal
  • plant-based
  • easy to make
  • nutritious

For more information see Cooking a Rainbow (Grow to Give).

Setting up your own Grow to Give Scheme

Recognising the benefits of the project and the potential for expansion both in and outside of Buckinghamshire, Grow to Give has developed several how-to guides to help you launch your own programme.

Downloadable resources include:

  • a step-by-step guide
  • information poster template
  • collection point signage
  • A5 email flyer to growers
  • example emails to get scheme started
  • example thank you note
  • example evaluation forms

Find out how to set up a Grow to Give scheme.