Seventy-two community based food-growing projects, including voluntary groups, residents associations, schools, and hospitals are to benefit from grants of up to €5,000 from the GIY (Grow It Yourself ) Get Ireland Growing Fund, in partnership with AIB. Four community food projects in Mayo received funding including Ballyhaunis Community Garden.
The project is a partnership of Mayo North East, Ballyhaunis Family Resource Centre, Ballyhaunis Men’s Shed, and the local community. The aim of the project is to establish a community garden in Ballyhaunis to grow vegetables, fruit, and herbs. The garden will provide an important social space where all sectors of this diverse community can work in partnership. Ballyhaunis has the highest percentage of non-Irish born in the country, at 42 per cent of the total population. The 20 members of the recently formed Men’s Shed will lead on the project which will have a strong social inclusion/integration element as half of the members are migrants, many of whom are asylum seekers.
Other food growing projects in Mayo which were awarded funds were: Ballycarroll NS, St Joseph’s Primary School, and the Irish Wheelchair Association, Erris Branch.