Healthy eating on the cards at new 'vegetable PATCH' co-op

Western Telegraph: HEALTH CLUB: Stephen Crabb MP, Abbi Morrison (Rural Regeneration Unit), Clare Stowell (Port of Milford Haven), Mayor Cllr Yvonne Southwell, PATCH co-ordinator Tracy Olin, David Barker (PATCH). PICTURE: Western Telegraph. (5420468) HEALTH CLUB: Stephen Crabb MP, Abbi Morrison (Rural Regeneration Unit), Clare Stowell (Port of Milford Haven), Mayor Cllr Yvonne Southwell, PATCH co-ordinator Tracy Olin, David Barker (PATCH). PICTURE: Western Telegraph. (5420468)

LOCAL people will now be able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables at affordable prices, at Pembrokeshire’s newest food co-operative.

Poverty relief charity PATCH (Pembrokeshire Action To Combat Hardship) has joined forces with the Welsh Government to open a local produce co-op at its base in Milford Haven.

Thanks to a deal with a local supplier, co-op customers will be able to pre-order a bag full of tasty, seasonal fruit and vegetables for just £3 a week, which can then be picked up from PATCH's headquarters.

Abbi Morrison, food development worker with the Welsh Government’s rural regeneration unit, said co-ops were a great idea that helped customers and suppliers.

“By buying a bag of ‘staples’ once a week from a co-op, people can save around £200 a year on supermarket prices,” said Abbi.

The scheme can also help people achieve their ‘seven-a-day’ fruit and veg target, and learn what foods are in season.

Recipe cards and leaflets will also be available at the co-op, giving customers top tips on how to cook up their ingredients into tasty, healthy meals.

Abbi said delivering in bulk also helps lower suppliers’ carbon footprint, and taking payment beforehand means no over-ordering.

“It’s already been paid for before it’s dug out of the ground so there’s no waste,” she added.

THE PATCH co-op joins the list of 330 across Wales, offering low-cost local produce at a range of venues, from schools to churches and WI groups.

At the official opening on Monday (April 14), PATCH co-ordinator Tracy Olin said the scheme would be great for local people, including those who had used the charity’s services.

“We’re always thinking of the next step to help people get back on their feet,” she said.

The PATCH co-op will be open every Wednesday from 10am until 2pm, at the charity’s branch at Unit C, Haven’s Head Business Park, Milford Haven.

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