Farmer’s market gives Big Issue vendor a food parcel boost

Bath seller Ian Duff benefits from community scheme to keep him fed while he is unable to sell the magazine on the street

A farmer’s market in Bath is keeping Big Issue vendors fed throughout the coronavirus crisis by putting together food parcels for delivery.

The Bath Farmer’s Market has managed to continue running every Saturday in Green Park Station, a former railway station-turned-market and independents shop venue, despite the pressures of the coronavirus shutdown.

And organisers Ethical Property have opted to harness the weekly event to help out Big Issue vendors.

Ian Duff
Ian Duff Food Parcel
Ian Duff was delighted to receive his food parcel over the weekend

Charles Beer, the market and property manager for Ethical Property, said that The Big Issue’s Bath sales and operations team are one of the firm’s not-for-profit tenants. So to support The Big Issue through the current uncertain times, they put £200 towards parcels to help volunteers and vendors who have been affected by the lockdown.

“On Saturday when we had our farmer’s market we had a collection point to raise money for The Big Issue and Ethical Property donated £200 to buy food parcels to deliver to people who were nominated,” he told The Big Issue.

“One of the volunteers for The Big Issue was nominated, Leslie who is in her 70s and is in isolation for 12 weeks and Ian who is one of the vendors got one as well. The other three went to families with kids who are vulnerable.

Farmer's Market Ethical Property
Saturday farmers' market, Green Park station, Bath
Green Park Station is usually packed for the farmer's market but the coronavirus lockdown has changed that

“We are currently crowdfunding to raise another £200 so we can do it again this weekend.

“We’re trying our hardest to keep the farmer’s market going but with the current situation it has been difficult – we don’t know when traders are going to have to self-isolate and so on. But we’re trying our best to make it safe with social distancing.”

Bath vendor Ian Duff was one of the recipients of a food parcel this weekend and he cooked up venison shank stew and dumplings with the ingredients. Ian also received a £25 voucher this week to help him with his food costs while he is unable to sell the magazine.

Ian has been looking to help the community himself, offering to cook a weeks’ worth of meals for people who are struggling with the lockdown so they can stick them on the freezer. So far, he has not had any takers but has had offers to help with ingredients and delivery. Contact Ian on Twitter @ianduff4 if you’re in the Bath area and need a hand in the kitchen.

He told The Big Issue:”I was very grateful for the parcel. I’ve known them for quite a while but it was still nice of them to do it.

“They actually missed me on Saturday but came back on Sunday so it was really appreciated.

“There were plenty of organic meats in there as well as potatoes, veg and toilet paper. So it’s very useful.

“The stew was tasty and it will keep me going for a little while.”

Image: Ethical Property