Who are Real Food Wythenshawe?
Wythenshawe Community Housing Group’s Real Food project is a health and wellbeing programme whose goal is to change people’s behaviour around healthy more sustainable lifestyles. The programme launched in 2013 with an aim to make Wythenshawe an exemplar of how food projects should be run in the 21st century and has since gone from strength to strength helping contribute to WCHG’s vision “to create communities where people choose to live and work, having pride in their homes and services.”
Some of the project highlights include:
• Presenting to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland to help raise awareness about food poverty in the UK as part of the Universal Periodic Review.
• Launching ‘the Unit E’ food storage warehouse in Wythenshawe Town Centre which helps to distribute to seven food banks across the area
• Winning a Gold Award for the ‘50 shades of Green’ Garden as part of Manchester Dig The City in 2015
• Winning Gold at RHS Tatton for their ‘Taste of Wythenshawe’ Garden in partnership with Reeseheath college and then relocating the garden in Wythenshawe Park for all to enjoy with the help of WCHG
In its first 5 years the project has been so successful it has reached across the whole Wythenshawe community and even further. It’s done this through a whole host of different projects which all contribute to supporting people to lead healthier, lower carbon lifestyles through the food they grow, cook and eat, which is also the teams motto even featuring on the BBC National Lottery’s programme.
The project was initially built around 5 flagship projects
The Geodome is located at the Manchester College on Brownley Road and aims to inspire and excite young people to understand where their food comes from. This innovative indoor food growing system helps to stimulate discussion around sustainable urban food production and introduce students to the issues around environmental change and food security whilst promoting sustainability and encouraging students to become Real Food Ambassadors for the future.
The food grown in this indoor classroom is used by the café at the Manchester College and also the Real Food Demo Kitchen which is situated in the indoor market in Wythenshawe Town Centre. Open every Tuesday and Thursday the demo kitchen, gives local people the opportunity to see how to cook different recipes, ask nutrition advice and taste the meals on offer.
Here are some stats: since 2013
15,268 Recipes given out
16,579 have attended cooking courses, events and workshops
100 sessions delivered at Real Food Kitchen & Wythenshawe indoor market footfall has increased 40%
72 Local Growing Groups supported by Real food
178 People have volunteered, totalling 11,020 hours donated
17 people have gone into full time employment
Distributed 22 tonnes of food through the Wythenshawe Food Bank
Plus local Food & Veg has risen through Real Food support at Wythenshawe Farm Shop