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FoodSmiles StAlbans receives £1,735 funding

19 November 19

FoodSmiles St Albans receives £1,735 funding

Members of FoodSmiles and Affinity Water employees holding up the cheque

Last year we donated £1,735 to FoodSmiles St Albans from our Community Engagement programme. This October we popped along to visit the team to see how the money has benefited the local community.

FoodSmiles is a Community Benefit Society, based in St Albans District, which aims to encourage people to grow and eat more sustainable local food through building a community of food-growers. They make local food and food-growing more accessible, bringing the community together and providing a new source of local food for St Albans.

The money donated from Affinity Water has enabled FoodSmiles to become self-sufficient with water usage. This has had a threefold benefit through saving the organisation money on water bills, using sustainable water sources and improving their crops yields, thanks to a regular and semi-automated watering system now in place.

There were two improvements that helped achieve this. The polytunnel re-skin and new guttering were put in place to help collect water from the downfall on the polytunnels and feed water directly into the growing crops area. In addition, an automatic irrigation was installed, powered by a solar battery, to provide a consistent feed of water to the summer crops - tomatoes, aubergines and peppers.

Jayne Casells from FoodSmiles, said: "We work on four sites. The site in Harpenden is shared with 35 members that receive weekly vegetable boxes. We have members and friends from all over Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire; from Syrian refugees to organic veg growers, no dig enthusiasts to working accountants. We all come to FoodSmiles for different reasons; from keeping sane to enjoying the outdoor life. The funding from Affinity Water has helped manage our water footprint and made an improvement to the way we now work and share our produce."

Anna Jarmolinska-Nowak Corporate Social Responsibility at Affinity Water, said: “We are so pleased to have the chance to support FoodSmiles St Albans with their water project who do so much good in their community. Our Community Engagement programme was set up to help local community groups and charities to apply for funding for specific projects that benefit their area and where there is a good link to our core business of supplying water."

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