Partnership supports social supermarkets in UK and Spain as well as a project to help Kenyans set up kitchen gardens and build resilience to climate shocks

A strategic partnership between Tenderstem and Action Against Hunger has left a lasting impact on hundreds of families facing food poverty in the UK, Spain and Kenya, following 12 months of community initiatives.

One year into its partnership with the international hunger charity, Tenderstem said it had delivered three major projects, each with the mission of eliminating hunger and giving local communities access to fresh, healthy produce.

In the UK and Spain, Tenderstem has been supporting Action Against Hunger’s Social Supermarkets, which give low-income households the opportunity to pick up a week’s worth of highly nutritious groceries every week in exchange for a small donation.

Over the past year, Tenderstem’s product and financial donations have supported over 1,200 people through community pantries. They have part-funded meals for almost 300 children during school holidays, as well as 400 food hampers for families in need. And they have fully funded five cooking classes to help families develop healthy and low-cost meals.

The project aimed to improve healthy diets and reduce food poverty among children and their families during the cost-of-living crisis. And Tenderstem said it has led to a higher uptake of food pantries in target areas, as well as improved consumption of nutritious and varied diets.

The partnership has also delivered a nine-month Climate-Smart Kitchen Gardening Project in the West Pokot County of Kenya. The initiative supports local communities and builds their resilience to recurrent climate shocks, such as erratic rainfall, floods, and drought, which lead to significant food insecurity.

Following Tenderstem’s donation of funds, seeds and equipment, 100 women were each supported to set up a kitchen garden demonstration plot. They also received training on a range of topics, including agricultural practices and agronomy, vegetable production, and business and financial skills, to enable them to feed their families and sell their produce at local markets.

With over 700 people benefitting, the first phase of the Climate-Smart Kitchen Gardening project has left a legacy on the community, improving food security, reducing unemployment, and increasing income levels, Tenderstem said.

The proportion of households growing vegetables in the area has increased from 13.5 per cent to 59.9 per cent and vegetable consumption has risen to 86.1 per cent.

As the partnership enters its second year, Tenderstem and Action Against Hunger have even bigger ambitions, with plans to expand the West Pokot Climate-Smart Kitchen Gardening Project and supporting even more social supermarkets across the UK and Spain.

Phase two of the Climate-Smart Kitchen Gardening Project will support up to 15 mother-to-mother support groups, focusing on improving maternal, infant, and young child feeding practices by supporting groups of pregnant and nursing mothers.

The groups will be trained to grow nutritious foods and engage in income-generating activities, leading to better food security and livelihoods for 720 community members in West Pokot.

Dave Samuels, Tenderstem’s EMEA brand director, said: “Not only have we helped hundreds of families access healthy, fresh produce, but we have also given them the tools to build a sustainable income and future through fresh produce.

“As we move into our second year of the partnership, we have even bigger ambitions, but our mission remains the same: to eliminate hunger by giving local communities access to fresh, healthy produce.”