A voucher scheme that allows low-income families to buy fruit and vegetables has received £50,000 of Lottery funding to expand to another city.
Currently the scheme allows so-called ‘Rose Vouchers’ to be exchanged for produce at Brixton market, south London. It is run by the Alexandra Rose Charity (ARC) in partnership with Food Matters.
The grant money will allow the project to expand to one new town or city outside the capital. It will also help the charity to investigate how digital technology could improve the delivery and reimbursement of vouchers, so the project can become more scalable and cost-effective.
“We feel that the Rose Vouchers project is a unique initiative that really delivers - for local families but also local food economies,” said ARC chief executive, Jonathan Pauling.
“We’re delighted that the Big Lottery Fund has awarded us this development grant. It gives us a fantastic opportunity to investigate how the project can be delivered in different settings and to promote the project to a wider audience.”
The Rose Voucher fruit and veg scheme was set up 2014 with the aim of promoting healthy eating and combating food poverty. It also provides income for market traders and local community food projects, while acknowledging the important role they play in public health.
Food Matters’ Victoria Williams the principal causes of food poverty are a lack of money and skills. “The Rose Vouchers for Fruit and Veg project directly combats food poverty and is, at heart based on a simple idea – to give families financial and practical support that enables them to eat better and to lead healthier, happier lives,” she said.