Seventy-two community based food-growing projects, including voluntary groups, residents associations, schools and hospitals are to benefit from grants of up to €5000 from the GIY (Grow It Yourself) Get Ireland Growing Fund, in partnership with AIB. Following a four month application and evaluation process, GIY announces the winning projects, located in 23 counties. The fund aims to support and encourage the local food-growing movement now evident across the country with grants of €500 for the smallest projects to €5,000 for larger schemes.
Developed by GIY, in partnership with AIB’s Add More Green Fund, the Get Ireland Growing fund will help underpin the finance necessary to sustain food growing projects around Ireland over three years.
In Tipperary, funding was received by two community food projects in Cloughjordan. The Cloughjordan Community Farm plan is to develop a community food growing hub on a three acre site within the Ecovillage as a growing, amenity and educational resource for the benefit of Ecovillage residents, the wider community of Cloughjordan and for the people of Ireland. The location of the Community Food Hub, in the heart of the Ecovillage, is the ideal location for a diverse range of activities around the themes of community growing, biodiversity, organic agriculture, seed saving, and community resilience. Funding was also received by two schools in Cloughjordan who have come together for an interdenominational school garden project.
Elsewhere in Ireland winning projects include: a community garden in Southill, Limerick fostering local community spirit and a garden in Wicklow providing growing space for people that do not have their own gardens.
The potential for food growing to create opportunities for recreation, therapy and education is recognised by grant awards to a number of health and wellbeing organisations including the National Rehabilitation Centre, the Irish Wheelchair Association, COPE Galway, Errigal Truagh Special Needs and Midleton Hospital, Co Cork.