If you’re cocooning or housebound at the present time, but would still like to actively contribute to the livelihood of small Irish food growers and producers, we highly recommend NeighbourFood. NeighbourFood is an amazing new online platform that allows customers to buy their food directly from producers.
Customers make their order and pay online via neighbourfood.ie, arranging to pick up the order at a predetermined collection site. The producer arrives at the site before the customer, fills the basket, and then departs, leaving the customer free to collect their purchases without breaching social distancing, and without money changing hands. There is also an option for those who are ill, or cannot leave their homes, to have their order delivered to them.
Heather, a volunteer with the service, explains how the delivery service works. ‘The whole idea is that we give you a call outside the door, we drop the food outside, you open the front door, take all the bits in, and we take it away then afterwards. There’s no contact at all.’
All of the products listed in a NeighbourFood market are grown or produced by local farmers or artisan producers. The sale of any large-scale commercially grown vegetables, non-organic imported fruit or vegetables, genetically modified products, intensively reared meat, imported fish or battery eggs are not permitted to be sold at a NeighbourFood market. Imported organic fruit and vegetables may not be sold when the same organic produce is in season in your area. Artisan foods from abroad, which are not freely available in your area, may be sold on account that these products are sourced from small importers with sustainable business practices.
One happy customer named Beverly commented, ‘at the moment I think it’s answering a lot of needs of people who are housebound in the current climate with Covid-19 because we’re now able to have less contact with people, still support our local producers, keep social distancing, and hopefully this will end soon, but I won’t be ending my contact with NeighbourFood. This will be going on, and I hope a lot of people will have discovered it after that.’
Learn more via their website, neighbourfood.ie, and check out the video below!