2021 End of Year Summary

CropDrop coordinates the distribution of donated fruit and vegetables from growers across Bath & North East Somerset to affordable food organisations providing access to affordable food.

Our mission is to build and strengthen the relationships within local communities, developing resilience and food security through the sharing of knowledge, time, produce and land.

What started as an idea in 2020 between a representative of growers and a food poverty officer for B&NES council, has completed a second year and achieved 156 drops from 19 sources to 27 recipients through the support of 4 volunteer project coordinators and 24 volunteer drivers.

In this summary, we provide an overview of what those 156 drops look like.

156
Drops
19
Sources
27
Recipients
4
Coordinators
24
Drivers

Comparison with 2020

2021 was a wider operation that started earlier in June.

We connected and encouraged two self-sustaining links to share produce within the same ward.

There were more contributions in collaboration with the Avon Gleaning Network.

Number of crops dropped to a food project, regular and one-off, in 2020

Number of crops dropped to a food project, regular and one-off, in 2021

It has been nice to be a part of this enterprise and know things I have grown have gone to a good home. Thank you.
Jill Hollin
Grower
It is wonderful to see what they do with our veg/fruit and lovely to get such heartfelt thanks.
Sue Murray
Grower
An illustrated person with a crate of produce.

Types of drops

Every regular CropDrop food journey was less than 3km, frequently less, due to our aim of keeping a low Carbon Footprint.

Our Volunteer Drivers: 7 people joined our bank of drivers to help where required. In 2021, 15 people have committed their time to share produce weekly in Bath, Keynsham and the Somer Valley and 17 drivers have helped transport our one-off donations.

Projects who have shared and received the fruit and veg include:
2 Foodbanks, 1 Distributor, 7 Food Clubs and Pantries, 5 Community Fridges and Larders, 4 Community Projects which provide food parcels to their members, 5 Community Cafés and 3 Schools.

Total number of crops dropped in each area and the number of one-off drops across B&NES, in 2020

158 total drops

Total number of crops dropped in each area and the number of one-off drops across B&NES, in 2021

156 total drops

Oasis Pantry have received 17 crates of fresh fruit and vegetables from Crop Drop in 2021. Many of those items have expanded the range of vegetables in particular we have offered our members. These deliveries have opened up opportunities to talk to our members abut more unusual vegetables, and to suggest recipes and cooking tips. They've also given us the chance to talk about where these foods have come from, and why they might look a bit different to what they would see in a supermarket.
Claire Henwood
Oasis Pantry
An illustrated person holding a giant marrow.

Mapping our reach

Explore our connections made between grower and recipient in Bath, Keynsham and Somer Valley in this interactive map. Select a region from the available buttons above the map to zoom to that location.

We used the last of the puréed pumpkin in pumpkin spice cookies and quesadillas. The wonderful courgettes, chard, curly kale and cavolo nero used immediately and made the most amazing ribollita (a hearty Tuscan bean stew similar to a minestrone). The rest finished by another class, chopped finely and added into a cheesy pastry parcels.

The little tomatoes from the previous week and more courgettes were hidden in the cheese straws. Those raspberries are so loved by the children and makes incredible jam. Which on cold Autumn mornings is now the preferred favourite on toast. It goes as quick as we can make it!
Rosalie Forde
Head of Food and Design Technology, Three Ways School
An illustrated person sitting on a pumpkin.

Variety of crops dropped

In total there were 37 different varieties of crops dropped throughout 2021. Below we have split fruit and vegetables into separate bar graphs.

Variety of veg crops dropped to food projects in 2021

Variety of fruit crops dropped to food projects in 2021

The effect of Crop Drop on affordable food provision in our area has been immense at certain times of the year, when there have been extra supplies from allotments and gardens. The addition of fresh, home grown food has made a difference to the lives of many of our residents.

This was especially so in my ward of Paulton. We have organised a Larder which is open 24/7 and available to all. Those using the Larder have greatly benefited from vegetables like marrows, courgettes and squash. We even had very helpful recipes to accompany these. We could tell how popular these were by the speed with which they went.

We were very grateful for the extra vegetables (and fruit) which added a lot to varying the diet of those using our Larder. I’m sure this was the case in other parts of B&NES using this scheme.
Liz Hardman
Bath & NE Somerset Councillor, Paulton Ward
An illustrated person holding a bunch of carrots.

Working with others

Our project has been supported by the help of others, these include:

Bath Allotment Association Logo

Bath Allotment Association

From our inception, CropDrop has been supported by the Bath Allotment Association in helping us connect with its members and coordinating the distribution of bountiful produce. They have featured us in their seasonal newsletters and invited us to present our work as guest speakers at their 2020 AGM.
Feeding Britain Logo

Feeding Britain

On invitation, we presented a roundtable discussion to the Feeding Britain network to share CropDrop’s story and effective approach for using crop abundance, contributing to local food security.  We highlighted the challenges we solved and offered insight and inspiration to others looking to do similar.
Carbon Copy Logo

Carbon Copy

"A hub that connects local communities, councils and companies who share the goal of a carbon zero future. We are a non-political, non-profit organisation. Our aim is to help more people in taking local climate action and collectively in building something better."
Attracted by our project’s achievements to date, Carbon Copy asked to share our ‘how to’ guide for those considering connecting growers and food projects in their area. Our project’s page has so far received over 50 unique page views.
Three Ways School logo

Threeways School

Three Ways School is an Academy Trust, operating as a generic Community Special School. Prior to 2007 there were three separate Special Schools in Bath that amalgamated in September 2005. It opened in September 2007 on the current site. The school provides for 220 children with a wide range of Special Educational Needs. It is a Specialist School for Physical and Sensory and also a School of Creativity.
Avon Gleaning Network logo

Avon Gleaning Network

The Avon Gleaning Network works with farms and other growers around Avon and Somerset to harvest or collect surplus fruit and veg that is of no further value to the farmers. This is then redistributed to charitable food projects that are supporting people experiencing food insecurity.
B&NES Council logo

B&NES Affordable Food Network

The B&NES Affordable Food Network feeds into the wider work of the Fair Food Alliance in B&NES and, in turn, the national work of Feeding Britain. It provides a forum for a growing network of community-based support projects to share best practice and support member’s project development. Membership includes FOOD (Food On Our Doorstep) Clubs, Food Pantries, Community Cafés, Community Fridges, Village Larders and redistributors of locally grown produce from allotments and gardens via CropDrop and, more recently, from professional growers via the Avon Gleaning Network.

Keynsham Allotment Association

Keynsham Allotment Association was established in 1987 to provide allotments to the community of Keynsham and is run entirely by members with an elected committee. It is subsidised by Keynsham Town Council which contributes towards rent payments to the land owner and major site repairs. The Association takes responsibility for all aspects of running the allotment site which is located at the end of Park Road in Keynsham.

2021 plans versus reality

A broader exploration of the lessons learned from our operation can be found in our learnings report.

Connect two further allotments in Bath city to create a total of six actively donating allotment sites.

Contacts were developed with Larkhall, Claremont Road and Canal Gardens allotment groups from July. They were connected with local affordable food projects in Larkhall and central Bath with limited success.

Form a link with one additional allotment or grower source in either the Keynsham area or Bathavon area.

Local research revealed that Bathford, Batheaston and Bathampton allotments already have local solutions for sharing their bountiful produce. The second set of Keynsham allotments are small and unlikely to produce spare produce.

New contacts were established with the Avonleigh Orchard, Rainbow Wood Farm and Avon Valley Farm for surplus apples, pumpkins and squash.

Introduce one pilot scheme on the ‘fork to fork’ concept with an appropriate allotment and community charity organisation.

Combe Down allotments were connected with Threeways School in September. This has already proved to be a deeper and more significant relationship, with invitations to visit each site and discussion about opportunities for closer working together. It is the subject of a separate Case Study.

Identify a partner organisation to collaborate with to deliver the mutual aims.

CropDrop has collaborated with the Avon Gleaning Network team on several gleans at local farms, sharing sweetcorn, pumpkins and squash with affordable food projects. Links with the Midsomer Norton Co-op have been strengthened.

Our plans for 2022

Our aims moving into the new year include:

CropDrop represents community action at its finest. The ingenuity and energy of the team has delivered so many benefits to local families, community centres, volunteers, and allotment holders. In doing so, it has made CropDrop a beacon of good practice for other parts of the country to follow.
Andrew Forsey
National Director, Feeding Britain
An illustrated person holding a cabbage.

Thank you

Photo of Deborah Griffin

We want to say a giant carroty CropDrop THANK YOU to Deborah Griffin for all the time and energy she has generously applied in the Somer Valley since August 2020. She has connected with allotmenteers, growers, affordable food projects, community groups and media outlets to enable the easy sharing of bountiful vegetables and fruits. Deborah is redirecting her volunteer energies to growing developments around Timsbury in 2022.