Food for Thought – Promoting growing food at home for Basildon residents

Salad leaves grown at home in a basket for Food for Thought

Trust Links has been busy packing 50 boxes full of seeds, compost, recipes, planting tips and even live plants. After being awarded grant funding from LDP Essex and Public Health Essex, Trust Links launched the exciting new project, Food for Thought. The free boxes have been provided to Basildon residents, helping them to grow food at home, leading to a more healthy lifestyle.

With help from Motivated Minds and Basildon Supported Housing Scheme, residents in Basildon are now receiving their boxes and booklets collected at Food Banks or delivered to their doors.

The boxes contain:

  • Food for Thought booklet with gardening tips and recipes
  • Packs of seeds: cress, basil and mixed salad
  • A small strawberry plant
  • A mint or lemon balm plant
  • Small bag of compost

Cress heads with silly faces - an example of what you can make with Food for Thought

The Food for Thought box is designed to help families and older people enjoy gardening, while helping them to reap the healthy benefits of growing at home in their meals.

Tracey Brownlow, Project Manager from Trust Links, said “COVID has affected all of us both emotionally and physically in many ways. At Trust Links we believe that gardening and eating healthily can have a really positive impact on wellbeing and we are delighted to be in a position to share what we have learnt with Basildon residents through the Food for Thought boxes. The contents of the boxes make it really easy for families and older people to get going with gardening, either on their windowsills of in their garden. There is strong evidence that gardening has a positive impact on both physical health and mental health, with gardening helping to reduce stress and aid the ability to think clearly. For many that suffer from anxiety or depression, gardening and caring for plants can be extremely beneficial. We hope to be able to distribute more Food for Thought boxes in other areas when funding becomes available.”

The Food for Thought booklet offers insight into what vitamins you can find in the herbs and plants grown.

Those taking part in the project are invited to join the Blooming Well Facebook group, and to post photos of their gardening and cooking experiences! By joining the group, people are able to connect with others that also received a box, and also interact with those taking part in the Blooming Well project – designed for primary aged children and their families in lockdown.