A GROUP of Nepalese residents are growing fresh produce to support their local foodbank through the pandemic.

The Eastleigh Gurkha Nepalese Association (EGNA) has been providing the nearby foodbank with fresh vegetables and herbs grown at Highbridge Farm.

Members have grown vegetables including potatoes, runner beans, pumpkins, tomatoes and coriander by cultivating land loaned to them by farmer, Henry Russell.

During the pandemic several members have been forced to shield due to coronavirus, but they still wanted to give back to others in the community that have been struggling during the pandemic.

Getting out and being active on the farm in the fresh air has been "important for many of the members of the group."

Eastleigh Cabinet Member for Social Policy,Tina Campbell said; “We should all be incredibly proud of the way Borough’s communities have responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This initiative by the Eastleigh Gurkha Nepalese Association, working with One Community and Basics Bank to provide much-needed fresh produce, has been a great example of local organisations stepping up to help their neighbours who are most in need.”

In response to the pandemic, Eastleigh charity, One Community, facilitated a partnership between EGNA and Eastleigh Basics Bank.

This was done through community development work and by providing the drivers and transport to distribute the produce to Eastleigh Basics Bank clients.

The partnership with EGNA has enabled recipients of food parcels to eat "nutritious, fresh produce" in addition to the general non-perishable goods supplied by the food bank.

EGNA grows food for its members but was said to be keen to share its surplus with local people in need.