CARLOW Farmers’ Market is donating produce to help local people in need every weekend.
High-quality food, including vegetables, bread, scones, meat, fish, pickles and chutneys, has gone to local elderly people and families since the market reopened in late May. The initiative is a joint venture with Carlow Development Partnership and the Carlow Older Persons’ Forum.
The items are taken to the older persons’ forum premises on Saturday evening, where they are put into boxes along with staples such as milk and cereal and delivered over the weekend. Ballon Eggs has also come on board, donating dozens of eggs on a weekly basis.
Annette Fox of Carlow Development Partnership said: “It just shows a community coming together. The farmers’ market didn’t have to do this. They have been terribly impacted yet one of the first to give back and help. That is what community is all about.”
Ms Fox said there is a ready need for these food boxes. People who could use the food are identified through services such as the development partnership’s Care and Repair Services, the local branch of St Vincent de Paul and the older persons’ forum, along with community and resource centres.
“There is unseen poverty out there,” said Annette. “The Covid situation is creating a whole new level of vulnerability. People may be working reduced hours or have been out of work. Others may be in caring roles, while some may be living from wage packet to wage packet.
“There has been a great reception to the food boxes; there is something heartening about getting that freshly-baked bread or hand-picked vegetable. It’s such a lift,” said Annette.
Mary Ryan of the Carlow Farmers’ Market said the market is happy to be able to help and is grateful for the support it has received from locals.
During the lockdown, the farmers’ market had home delivered to its older customers. “We were looking at being able to contribute and it makes us very happy to be involved in the community in Carlow,” said Mary.