COOKING lessons for adults and children, and a long-running soup project, are among the initiatives benefiting from a near-£100,000 boost.

Dunbar’s community-owned greengrocer, the Crunchy Carrot, has secured funding which will enable it to carry on a number of schemes over the next three years.

The money from The National Lottery Community Fund, totalling £91,800, will be used to fund three years’ work on community food and sustainability projects.

Schemes include cooking lessons for adults and children, a weekly community meal, the continuation of the long-running Sunny Soups food waste project, and KidsFoodJourney, a food club for primary school-aged children.

The Community Carrot community benefit society, which trades as the Crunchy Carrot, was delighted to secure the funding boost.

Hannah Ewan, Community Carrot development officer, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic prompted an incredible support response from so many people in our community, from the team at Dunbar Basics Bank helping people through difficult times, to Crunchy staff who pulled 12-hour shifts for weeks on end to make sure food boxes were delivered to those shielding, to the Home-Start and Bleachingfield team who organised the delivery of hundreds of meals on a weekly basis.

“I’ve been proud to be involved with this work and am absolutely delighted to have received National Lottery funding to continue supporting our community food response.

“Good food shared in good company is at the heart of human wellbeing, and I can’t wait to get people back together to enjoy many, many shared meals, and support the learning of skills needed to make good food at home too.”

The development officer will work in partnership with a number of local organisations, including The Ridge, the Bleachingfield Centre’s community development officer, Dunbar Basics Bank, Dunbar Parish Church, Dunbar Primary School and Dunbar Grammar School to improve food skills and get people back together socialising in a safe way as Covid-19 restrictions ease, and reduce local food waste.

After a year of the development officer cooking alone or in a tiny team for Sunny Soups, volunteers are finally able to meet once again to make the meals together.

The meals are made with surplus ingredients from the greengrocer on High Street and other shops and local gardens, saving food from going to waste.

They are then given away free by Dunbar Basics Bank and Dunbar Grammar School’s Dinner@DGS.

A six-month series of cooking classes has also begun, run in partnership with The Ridge and the Bleachingfield Centre. Cooking For Life teaches basic cooking skills, giving people the confidence to cook healthy meals from scratch at home.

Kate Still, The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland chair, said: “It’s heartening to see the way Scottish communities are coming together to provide each other with support.

“I would like to congratulate the Community Carrot on their award, which is testament to the incredible efforts of their staff and volunteers.

“National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is making such a difference.”