Become a FoodFriend and support local farms

Written by Ellen Pearce, a food citizen and Lancaster District’s FarmStart coordinator at LESS

FoodFriends is a dedicated fundraising scheme run by LESS to support the development of regenerative local food projects and the training of new small-scale farmers.

By making a regular donation of £5 per month you are eligible for monthly prize draws to win Local Food Vouchers which can be spent with our partner organisations.

The proceeds from the scheme go directly to supporting the set up of two new small farm sites in North Lancashire which will supply the local economy with organically grown produce and be a training and education centre for new entrant farmers.

The Covid-19 outbreak has brought the need for local, resilient food economies into sharper focus. This is your opportunity to support local projects to increase the amount of food grown locally by small-scale sustainable farming methods rooted within communities.

What is FoodFriends?

FoodFriends is a registered small society lottery also known as a 500 club. It is a fundraising scheme which provides monthly prizes to members.

The purpose of FoodFriends is to raise funds to help train and enable new small-scale farmers in the Lancaster District, to support the development of regenerative local food projects and to support the distribution of local food.

As well as being in a monthly draw for prizes, members will receive regular updates, information and opportunities to get engaged in the projects that FoodFriends funds. Members of the scheme will also receive an annual report with a summary of project progress.

Which projects are FoodFriends supporting?

FoodFriends will support the set up and development of two sites in North Lancashire – a small field site on an existing organic farm and an indoor growing site.

Both sites will form the first FarmStart training centre and, from January 2021, we will be providing training to our first cohort of trainees. The sites will also grow organic produce which will be available to buy locally.

Our FarmStarters will take part in comprehensive, hands-on training in how to grow a market garden and set up small-scale food enterprises as part of a wider strategy to grow a resilient local food economy.

There is more background about the FarmStart project in the feasibility study which was undertaken by LESS in 2018 and the pilot Growers’ Support Course run in 2019.

How does FoodFriends work?

You sign up by direct debit via GoCardless to buy a FoodFriends Member Number.

Each Member Number is for £5 per month.

You can buy as many Member Numbers as you want.

Once you sign up via GoCardless, your Member Number(s) will be allocated and sent via email.

You must be over 16 to participate.

A random draw will be made every month with a minimum of 6 Local Food Vouchers worth £30 each to be spent with one of our Food Partners.

If you win a voucher, you choose which Food Partner to redeem it with.

Additional prizes will also be available from time to time and as the membership grows.

The funding raised through FoodFriends is used to support the development of regenerative local food projects and the training of new small-scale farmers.

Become a FoodFriends Member Today!

There will be at least 72 chances of winning a year!

View the rules of the scheme (PDF)

Become a FoodFriends member today and support local farming initiatives.

As soon as we have 55 members in the scheme, we will begin the monthly draws.

Food Firends

Interested in joining?

Sign up for FoodFriends, join via Go Cardless

To join FoodFriends as a Food Partner, email Ellen

To find out more about being a FarmStarter, email Ellen

What prizes can I win?

Monthly winners of the draw will get a £30 Local Food Voucher. If you win, you will be contacted by email to choose one of our Food Partners with which to spend your voucher. Your voucher will be valid for 6 months to spend at the Food Partner organisation that you choose.

Should there be additional prizes available, additional draws will take place to allocate winning numbers.

Our partner organisations all share a commitment to developing a fair and ethical local food economy. Our current partners include:

Single Step

A workers cooperative based in Lancaster that sells wholefoods, fruit and vegetables, pulses, grains, flour, spices, fresh products, toiletries, snacks and other gifts and products.Single Step is a not-for-profit organisation committed to healthy, environmentally friendly, local and fair trade products. They are a vegan business.FoodFriends Food Voucher winners can choose from a basket of ethical, organic food for a weekly shop, fair-trade wines or chocolate, or other treats such as Zaytoun medjool dates from Palestine.


A six-acre community farm on the edge of Lancaster. A number of community projects operate from the shared site, including Spud Club (a community food growing project), a tree nursery, the giving beds (food growing for Egg Cup) and the John Muir nature conservation trail.FoodFriends Food Voucher winners will get a seasonal hamper which will include a selection (depending on the time of year) of vegetables grown in the no-dig beds, salad bags, fresh cut herbs, chutneys, jams, fresh cut flowers, kimchi, cider, dried teas and herbs, marigold oil and a calendar/postcards.

The Fig Tree

A specialist fair-trade chocolatier based in Garstang. Using cocoa beans from New Koforidua in Ghana, Africa’s first Fair-Trade town, the beans to bar chocolate is available in a bespoke hamper for prize-winners. Bars include milk, vegan and dark chocolate, flavoured with mint, raspberry and orange. There is also a range of handmade individual chocolates.FoodFriends Food Voucher winners will be able to customise their chocolate hamper to suit their preferences. A vegan option is available.

Sewing Café

A Lancaster sewing (and more) circle that promotes wellbeing and advocates sustainability. They believe in connecting with people across the community, to share skills, to reuse, repair and reduce. Choose from their product line of reusable food wraps (bees wax or soya), produce bags, shopping totes, and garden work-belts from upcycled materials and fabric rescued before going to the tip.FoodFriends Food Voucher winners can take their pick of £30 worth of products. Custom products not available with this voucher.

Cockerham Boers

The UK’s longest established producer of high quality goat meat. All our meat is born and reared on our own farm meaning we can guarantee the quality of the meat, the welfare standards we work to and our levels of wildlife friendly and environmentally sound farming.Based in Cockerham, goat meat can be bought directly from the farm or from occasional markets in Lancaster and Preston. Local deliveries are offered from £5 for those that can’t visit the farm.FoodFriends Vouchers can be used against any purchase of goat meat, from an individual pack of chops, mince or sausage up to a full joint or a pack of goat meat.

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