Project code: 49
In April 2020, the country experienced the first of two lockdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Dundee, many citizens found that they had insufficient income to meet all their needs and reverted to getting food and other household items from foodbanks and larders. Within weeks of the lockdown commencing 25 to 30 community food projects sprung up and became the Dundee Community Food Network. Dundee City Council provided £10,000 a week of food, but had the logistical problem of how the food would be distributed to the network of 25 community larders spread throughout the city. Alexanders Community Development (ACD) provided staff and a vehicle to make the weekly deliveries to the community projects. This service has continued unabated since April 2020. In 2022 the ACD vehicle ceased to be operational, and we had to lease a diesel van to continue with the weekly deliveries.
Our application to the Climate Change Fund 2 will allow us to purchase a second hand electric van to continue to provide this essential service within the City.The collection and distribution of the food and groceries equates to an estimated 300 miles a week, and at present this is all covered by a leased diesel van.The grant we are seeking would allow us to purchase a a second hand electric van and this would reduce our carbon footprint considerably as we cover around 15,000 miles a year within the city. An electric van is ideal for ACD as our daily mileage will be no more than 100 miles, and therefore a single charge will suffice each day. ACD, in the spirit of partnership, have agreed with two other local charities being Campy Growers and Signpost, that we will make the electric van available to them as and when they require the vehicle. Campy Growers is the largest community growing space in Dundee with its 8 acres and community building and has a huge potential to produce significant amounts of fresh food on your door steps. In March 2021 Signpost International launched their first UK food project, The Roundhouse Community Kitchen in Dundee. The mission of this project is to transform surplus food destined for waste into freshly prepared, nutritious meals for distribution by foodbanks and larders across the city to people in need of support.
ACD currently leases a diesel van to collect food and groceries from supermarkets and wholesalers and then distributes these to the network of 25 community foodbanks and larders. The Dundee Community Food Network (DCFN) is organised through the local charity Faith in the Community.
Jacky Close, Director, Faith in the Community stated: "ACD has been key to our response to the emergency food needs across the city. They have listened and responded to the identified gap as partners developed their work together to bring something unique to this situation."
The need for emergency community food has increased as the cost of living crisis has hit many citizens very badly. In August 2021 the average number of collections from the network was 4,000 per week, however this has doubled over the last two years to 8,000 collections per week in August 2023. It is true to say that this essential community service would not happen without the contribution of ACD.
Peter Allan, Community Planning Manager, Dundee City Council stated: "ACD showed real leadership and commitment by stepping forward to offer a thoughtful, flexible and professional service. They developed processes and relationships at break neck speed and have become an indispensable part of our emergency food arrangements."
The awarding of a grant from Dundee Climate Fund 2 to ACD will allow us to provide an essential community service with as low a carbon footprint as is possible.
Location: Alexanders Community Development will deliver food and groceries throughout all of Dundee