21st May 2020
Floaty Boat Food Boxes
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Floaty Boat Fund, set up in 2018 with support from the Town Council and others, have been stepping up activities to provide veg box deliveries as well as an innovative ‘pay it forward’ scheme – supporting members of the boating community who are facing financial or other difficulties as a result of the crisis.
How it works
When purchasing their own veg box, boaters can make a small contribution to a fund which contributes to boxes for others and so far this has meant that for every box bought, another box has been able to be donated to someone who needs it; yet another wonderful example of community effort. The scheme also distributes food boxes and other items from the Hub, Bradford on Avon; also recently contributed to by the Town Council in response to the pandemic.
Floaty Boat Fund founding member, Alice Young says:
“The Floaty Boat veg scheme takes the stigma out of accepting a food parcel; we’re a proud bunch and it’s much easier to accept a donation knowing that you too can ‘pay it forward’ one day. Empowerment is the essence of Floaty Boat and why it works so well.”
Deliveries are made weekly, with boxes priced at £5 for individuals and £9 for a family – the boxes are delivered along the length of the canal between Hilperton and Bath, observing safe distancing rules and providing healthy, nourishing supplies to those moored there. The food box scheme has received additional support from Canal Ministries, who have donated £200 and the use of their boat Litania.
The veg boxes are delivered with recipe cards designed by Laura Darling, founder-member of the Floaty Boat Fund, who also runs Wolf Kitchen, a vegan café operating from her boat. You can download the first of these HERE
The Floaty Boat Fund is currently setting up as an independent charity, with several local trustees – its aim is to promote resilience within the community, and build community cohesion with those that live on and near the canal. Supported by the Town Council, it has run several workshops on boat maintenance, as well as providing emergency kits to boaters in need of specific help.
Cllr Dom Newton, who is in-coming Chair of Trustees for the Floaty Boat Fund said:
“This really shows the boater community at its best – coming together to support each other at a time when we know that food poverty is on the increase. The community, has been hit by lockdown in a number of ways, including economically, with high-levels of self-employed and entertainment industry professionals who have been unable to work. This project – staffed entirely by volunteers – is a natural development of the resilience work which was already underway.”
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