Benefits of local growers donating produce

So what’s all the fuss about? Why are allotments so important to Food Works, and Food Works so important to allotments?

  • Food Works is an outlet for the surplus food grown by allotmenteers As growers we often find ourselves with a glut of veg such as beans, tomatoes or courgettes. If there is still some left over after filling the freezer and sharing with friends and neighbours, donating to Food Works is an easy way of using up any surplus so they don’t go to waste.
  • Providing fresher, tastier, more nutritious food for the people of Sheffield. As we read on Wednesday, according to, the average tomato travels 2160 miles before it ends up on our supermarket shelves. As food ages it loses nutrients and flavour. Plus, many foods that are part of the global food system – like tomatoes – are actually picked before they are ripe and although they will continue to change colour they will never reach their maximum nutrient levels.
  • Sharing food brings communities together. When different groups within communities work together, great things can happen! Sometimes it’s just a case of linking the right groups – such as allotmenteers with surplus produce with Food Works who can upcycle and redistribute food for everyone in Sheffield to enjoy. When communities work together, they grow and become stronger together.

Plotting for the future – how allotment surplus can help create a secure food system in Sheffield

Growing a Row for or Repurposing Your Surplus to Food Works helps to make Sheffield’s food system more resilient and sustainable. Global food systems are fragile, meaning in times of crisis they can break down leaving the supermarket shelves empty – just like we saw at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Creating a local food system means that even in times of crisis the food is still readily available.