Fruitful Abundance began when a group of keen Northamptonshire gardeners decided to swap the surplus produce from their allotments or veg’ patches. From that small seed, we have grown beautifully!
We now tackle the over-supply in our wider food system. Supermarkets are often left with unsold, but perfectly edible, food. Our team of collectors pick up from a wide variety of stores and bring produce to our hubs to be stored in our goods area; or frozen or chilled.
Other volunteers work in our network of shops (pop-up and bricks and mortar), event stalls and cafes. The chefs and waiting staff give up their time to create delicious meals, tailoring menus to match our stock.
Schools, charities and other charities also share our produce and we support new projects to get going. As a Community Interest Company we invest any profits into developing the enterprise.
Through talks and food demonstrations we show how food ‘waste’ can be saved from ending in going for landfill. We also spread the word at festivals, local events and organise shows. Our allotments – some in the middle of busy areas of social housing – grow food for us – while farms, gardens and smallholdings surplus also donate to us..
For the communities we serve, often in areas of deprivation, our cafes allow people a place to enjoy the company of others and enjoy a nourishing, home cooked, meal. Some cafes have price lists, which start from a £1 for a meal. Many projects just ask for donations to cover our costs. For any of our customers, including those who face food poverty, our fresh fruit and vegetables, other goods and plentiful supplies of bread offer an alternative place to shop.
We rescue an average 3 tonnes of food each week, but are adding new suppliers and collections all the time. But that is not the only way we aim for a social impact. Many of our volunteers gain confidence working in the shop or cafes and through our training. We are an inclusive organisation, where those with learning difficulties or physical disabilities are valued for their contribution.
True to our origins, the principles from the earliest days are still there today: sharing, creating a sustainable food system and growing our community for future generations.