Many households in Uist face a ‘perfect storm’ of high cost-of-living, increased borrowing costs, food inflation over 20%, crippling transport problems, and unaffordable energy bills. Tagsa’s recent research shows that food costs in Uist are 28% higher than on the mainland and the availability of fresh produce is far more limited and unreliable. With a very high proportion of single occupancy and older households, it can be a struggle to eat fresh and nutritious food each day, with negative impacts on health and wellbeing.
In 2022, Tagsa Uibhist made a strategic decision to focus on supporting community members to grow food in their own homes and to make local food more available.
In addition to our highly valued, Community Gardens, we have now established the following projects:
Tagsa’s track record of community focused research, as well as our experience of running a busy Community Garden puts the organisation in a credible position to support local efforts to increase access to affordable fresh and nutritious food.
Tagsa are establishing the Western Isles Food Partnership to achieve a Sustainable Food Places award. We will bring together key stakeholders from the local authority, health board and public sector establishments to food growers, retailers, and the hospitality sector to transform local food production and consumption into a more sustainable system.
The Gardens already provide an ideal environment for collaboration with other organisations (e.g. our work with Taigh Chearsabhagh, Caraidean Uibhist, Cothrom, Penumbra, Alcohol and Drug Partnership, Community Service (Social Work), Developing the Youth Workforce, Sgoil Lionacleit, Balivanich Primary School, Stòras Uibhist, Craigard Day Centre, Community Mental Health Team and Post Diagnostic Support (Dementia)).
The Local Food Markets are a focal point for a cluster of socially, environmentally, and economically focused activities relating to healthy food and local food value-chains.
By introducing a strong focus on outreach, that is, visiting and supporting growers in their own gardens, our aim is to create new value-chains for growers to sell their vegetables in the Local Food Market.
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