LOVE Gorgie Farm calls for volunteers to deliver free breakfasts and food bank donations as it temporarily closes due to coronavirus outbreak

LOVE Gorgie Farm has decided to close its doors to the public until further notice to ensure the safety of visitors, staff and the animals.

Edinburgh’s city farm will operate as a food bank and deliver free breakfast for children amid school closures. The farm appeals for volunteers to help with the deliveries and urging people for food supplies to stock its foodbank and to be able to cater to as many children and young people as possible.

This decision comes after the announcement from the UK and Scottish Governments to close all leisure spaces such as restaurants and bars during a time when schools will also be closed.

Education and social care charity LOVE Learning, who recently took ownership of former Gorgie City Farm, aims to support those children in the community, especially those from deprived areas, by ensuring that they can start the day well fed.

The farm also has a takeaway menu from their recently opened café. 

Gail Porter meets the alpacas at Gorgie Farm. Photo Martin McAdam

LOVE Gorgie Farm reopened last month after the site had gone into liquidation in November 2019. Earlier last week, LOVE Learning announced it would launch new services on the farm and it had plans to inaugurate the farm café today Monday.

Although the farm will be closed to the public, the LOVE Gorgie Farm team will be working behind closed doors to maintain the site and take care of the animals for the foreseeable future.

LOVE Gorgie Farm is also encouraging those wanting to help them during this time to support them with donations and supplies.

Two pages have been set up – an Amazon shopping list and a Go Fund Me page – for those wanting to help the farm stay afloat remotely.

Lynn Bell, CEO of LOVE Learning said: “Following the advice from the Scottish Government regarding the evolution of the coronavirus outbreak, we have sadly decided to temporarily close LOVE Gorgie Farm.

“However, we will be delivering free breakfast every morning so the children in the community can enjoy at least a meal a day now that schools are closed and we will also maintain our foodbank to ensure that vulnerable people can have access to food.

“We are saddened to have to take this decision as the farm had only reopened to the public a few weeks ago and we were going to start providing new services and opening the café. However, the safety of our staff, visitors and animals is and will always be our first and foremost priority.

“The fact that we are closed to the public does not mean that the farm is not operational. Our dedicated team will still need to work hard to maintain the farm and take care of our animals so that we can reopen once we go back to normality. And we need help and supplies to support their work.

“We cannot stress enough how vital the help from the community will prove to work through this crisis. We need volunteers to help us deliver the breakfasts and meals from the café. Donations for our food bank will be paramount for those families who cannot afford it, and although we understand that we are living through a critical moment, any small donations will make a big difference.

“We also understand that there will be people wanting to help us from the safety of their home and as such, we have set up an Amazon shopping list and a Go Fund Me page so anyone who wishes to make a contribution, no matter how little, can help us and provide supplies to keep the farm going.

“We are incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support that we have received to get LOVE Gorgie Farm going. The generosity of the community has surpassed all our expectations thus far and we are sure that their invaluable help will continue to amaze us as we work through this critical moment.”

Those wanting to place orders or volunteer should contact LOVE Gorgie Farm through gorgie@l-o-v-e.org.uk or telephone 0131 337 4202.

Those wanting to provide the farm with supplies will find the wish-list here and the Go Fund Me page here

Gail Porter at Gorgie Farm. Photo Martin McAdam
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