Food for Thought: How 100 families learned to grow food at home


The Food for Thought boxes have provided seeds, herb plants, growing tips and recipes ideas to families in the latest lockdown. Trust Links have prepared and distributed 250 boxes over the last year, with Food for Thought boxes provided to families and older people in Basildon, Southend, Castle Point and Rochford.

The aim of the Food for Thought project was to increase knowledge of gardening and healthier eating, while helping vulnerable people to take on some light outdoor exercise. In addition to the physical health benefits, being outdoors and engaging in a relaxing activity such as gardening can help relieve stress and boost mental wellbeing.

In the Castle Point and Rochford areas, 100 boxes were put together by the Trust Links team, and contained:

  • vegetable seeds
  • coir (for planting)
  • herb plants
  • a booklet of instructions and activities to enable participating families to learn new skills and grow from home
  • materials to construct a solitary bee habitat, encouraging the use of recyclable materials at home
contents of the food for thought box

Thanks to the support of several organisations and foodbanks, the boxes were delivered to families across Castle Point and Rochford:

  • 25 went to Yellow Door Canvey Island, for distribution through their foodbank
  • 30 boxes in Rayleigh went to The Mega Centre to be distributed through their foodbank, Hopeworx for delivery to residents they have contact with, and the Parish of Rayleigh
  • 25 boxes were taken by The Salvation Army, for distribution through their foodbank
  • 10 to Hawkwell Baptist Church, for distribution through their foodbank
  • 10 to vulnerable young people in Rochford who attend the Trust Links Youth Project
Trust Links staff Beverly packs Food for Thought Boxes

Julie, who works at Megacentre Rayleigh, said: “Thank you for the seed boxes, they have proved very popular with residents we have given them to.”

“There were a couple of food parcels we sent out that were for lone mums who were in new homes due to having to move quickly due to their circumstances – a couple of the mums were so appreciative that anyone would give them something ‘extra’ as an activity they could do with their children, they were really happy to receive the boxes.”

Trust Links would like to thank the Castle Point and Rochford councils for funding this project and helping us in supporting vulnerable families in our local communities.

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