In a parallel universe LESS and FoodFutures are preparing for Lancaster’s annual Midwinter Market – celebrating the dark months of the year with local food and drink and music. Although COVID-19 has prevented our seasonal markets from taking place this year, we have adapted to celebrate the midwinter in a different form – with a hamper!

FoodFutures has launched a Midwinter Hamper campaign that revolves around the idea of good and fair food for all.

Hampers will contain locally produced food and items for your midwinter celebrations, alongside the stories of those that have produced it. Producers will be paid directly (at a price they set), and the profits raised from the sale of these hampers will go towards Eggcup’s ongoing work re-distributing surplus food to those that need it.

Featured producers include the Fig Tree, Backsbottom Farm, the Port of Lancaster SmokeHouse, Precious Plastics, Love ewe dairy and Atkinsons.

This campaign seeks to support local food businesses whilst responding to the increasing need for emergency food support.

Rachel Tyrrel Smith, Public Health Project Co-ordinator at Lancaster City Council provides the context for such a campaign, commenting: “Demand for emergency food has increased dramatically over the covid-19 period and we expect the need to remain high as we move into the second wave. With local lockdowns, quarantine, shielding, furlough and redundancies, it isn’t that some people just can’t afford food, some people can’t even access it. People who were previously managing to get by are now finding themselves struggling to afford the basics”.

Under very difficult circumstances Eggcup have really stepped up to the mark. They have taken on a number of food clubs that were in danger of folding because they just didn’t have people to run them. Because of this, members continued to receive the food that they rely on. They have set up a cooperative increasing buying power so they could get more food for their money, and also established a ready meal service for people who were stuck at home and unable to cook for themselves”.

FoodFutures will also use this midwinter hamper as a pilot- to test local appetite for a local food box.

To find out more and to preorder you hamper (numbers are limited) visit: foodfutures.org.uk/hamper

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