Remembering Gus Schumacher

This week the sad news reached us that Gus Schumacher, Co-Founder of the Wholesome Wave Foundation, passed away unexpectedly of heart failure.

Wholesome Wave is a non-profit working across the United States, connecting the dots between farmers, businesses, local authorities, the health sector and communities. They believe poverty should never be an obstacle to eating fresh produce and coordinate a range of non-stigmatising food access programmes – benefiting over a million families and thousands of farmers. Gus Schumacher was one of the big driving forces behind this work. You can read a moving blog about his life and work here.

In November 2016, Nourish Scotland and the Glasgow Food Policy Partnership, with support from Community Food and Health Scotland (CFHS), brought Gus Schumacher to Scotland. The two parallel events in Edinburgh and Glasgow were attended by a range of people from community food initiatives, national and local authorities, health bodies, food businesses, housing associations and civil society groups – and were hugely inspiring.

You can find the event report here.

Inspired by the event, the Cyrenians and Homestart are now developing a subsidised local fruit and veg scheme in West Lothian, with support from a Community Health Improvement Grant from West Lothian Community Health Partnership. The bags will be offered at largely discounted rate to allow families dealing with issues and vulnerabilities to access high quality local fruit and vegetables in an easy and dignified way. The bags will also be offered to other vulnerable families in West Lothian and beyond who have access to Healthy Start Vouchers.

This pilot programme will hopefully inspire other initiatives across Scotland that both facilitate preferential access to fruit and veg and support local producers– and honour the inspiring legacy of Gus Schumacher.

We thank Gus for all his input and support!