Crop Drop: supporting urban farms to provide fresh fruit and veg
The impact of volunteering on an individual is unmistakable.
In fact, we wrote an entire blog on the value of volunteering to support mental wellbeing. But the ripple effect that charity work can have on local communities can be quite remarkable. It is through this work that individuals may feel a better sense of purpose, fulfilment and wellbeing while supporting charities to operate at their full potential.
Crop Drop is an incredible London social enterprise that doubles as a non-profit grocery delivery service. Working with local farmers and growers, they are able to make organic, seasonal and sustainably grown food accessible to all in their surrounding areas.
Crop Drop is part of a growing network of Better Food Traders fiercely supporting urban farmers and small scale, regenerative farmers, as well as ensuring fair pay and less waste. For example, produce is never graded out due to superficial imperfections. For every £1 spent with Crop Drop at least 50% is returned to the farmer, in the supermarket system farmers receive less than 10%.
Any produce not sold through their delivery service is then shared amongst volunteers and the local community, including through dedicated food projects in Haringey such as Homegrown, which provides free meals for local people in Tottenham, the Wolves Lane Food For All project and Martha House, a local centre for refugees.
Over the years Crop Drop has grown a network of more than 160 volunteers ranging from 11 to 70 years old! Each week, the team relies on the support of 10-15 volunteers, with a wide range of physical abilities. As they put it: “lifting & carrying sacks of potatoes is an advantage but not essential!” It is thanks to this encouraging environment that makes Crop Drop the perfect welcoming space for those with additional learning needs.
In turn, this friendly and supportive setting offers a great opportunity to learn. Whether it’s about the different varieties of fruit and vegetables, when certain produce is in season or the countless recipes to try at home.
For helping to pack the bags, volunteers receive digital Time Credits that they can use with local businesses, surplus produce to take home, a home-cooked seasonal lunch, plus if they are a Crop Drop member already they can receive 30% off their subscription.
Sean Lee has volunteered at Crop Drop since 2020 and now works in mental health. By volunteering, he is able to help provide a worthwhile service to his community whilst benefiting from the social aspect of being with newly made friends.
“Crop Drop provides a worthwhile service to the community; it’s healthy and has high ethical standards. It’s much more enjoyable packing these bags than my own from the shops because it’s just organic fruit and vegetables with minimal packaging. I believe in Crop Drop.” Sean Lee, Volunteer
Kyriacos Georgiou is a cleaner in a local school and has been volunteering with Crop Drop for 6 years now. Volunteering has given Kyriacos great pleasure in knowing that he has helped make a difference in so many people’s lives. It also played a vital role for him during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, providing him with essential social interaction during an otherwise troubling period.
Volunteering has “built my confidence and gives me a routine and purpose in my life.” Kyriacos Georgiou, Volunteer
Thanks to Tempo Time Credits, Kyriacos has been able to enjoy a range of activities he might not otherwise have. His favourite activities he has used his digital Time Credits for include Go ape at Alexandra Palace and the Thames Clipper boat ride along the Thames River. He has also been able to use his credits locally, both at the leisure centre and the cinema.
Thinking about joining our Tempo business partnership? Learn more by visiting our site.
For information on what’s available when claiming your credits in London, get started with a Time Credits login today!