It’s the city with the highest level of foodbank use in Scotland, but Dundee is harnessing its creativity to find innovative – and artistic – solutions to this chronic problem.
The city is home to 25 small-scale orchards that together make up Dundee Urban Orchard. Most are open to the public so they can forage for produce or just enjoy the green space.
The city’s food poverty crisis is acute, with figures from the Trussell Trust showing nearly 4,000 people – 1,050 of them children – were referred to Dundee foodbank between April and September 2016. It’s a rise of four per cent in a year and makes it the highest per-capita figure in Scotland.
Artist and co-founder of Dundee Urban Orchard Jonathan Baxter said as well as the beauty and biodiversity the orchards bring to the city, they are also a means of highlighting the injustices that lead to food poverty.
“With this in mind, we worked directly with Dundee foodbank to plant an orchard in a small community garden set up by a former user of the foodbank,” he said.
“The aim of the garden, and the orchard we planted, was two-fold: to address an immediate need by supplying vegetables and fruit to the foodbank, and to offer an alternative means of addressing food poverty, that is, an example of people growing their own food.”