Leeds poverty battle: Gardens create ‘free food - for people who need it’

Paul Long, founder of Incredible Edible Kirkstall. PIC: Tony Johnson
Paul Long, founder of Incredible Edible Kirkstall. PIC: Tony Johnson
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Paul Long thinks one solution to the problem could be for everyone to learn how to grow their own food - and from an early age.

Revealed - The scale of food poverty in Leeds: Click here for more

He set up Incredible Edible Kirkstall, part of the Incredible Edible Network which relies on volunteers to create communal growing spaces, to benefit the community, and educate youngsters.

He said: “We need to create community gardens so the land out there is being used. If we can grow fruit and vegetables, not only are we bringing communities together - it’s free food, for people who need it.

“Education is the key. We need to teach children how to grow their own foods and how to look after their foods that they buy from supermarkets.

“They can share with other people and share with their parents and inspire them.” Incredible Edible Kirkstall is a member of Feed Leeds, a network of over 50 individuals and organisations supporting the growing of food for its economic, social, environmental and health benefits. Feed Leeds recently started work on a ‘Food Strategy’ for Leeds which aims - for the first time - to set out how to create a healthier food system which address health inequalities, reduces food poverty and supports local food businesses.

Sonja Wood, of Voluntary Action Leeds, explained: “It’s creating a sustainable food system for Leeds so people have access to healthy, nutritious and affordable food.”