Homeless people in Salford have been given an allotment plot in the new £44 million RHS Garden Bridgewater.
The homeless charity, Salford Loaves and Fishes, will grow produce in the garden for its emergency food parcels.
People who attend the centre will be taught how to maintain the community garden and how to prepare the food in their kitchen.
Charity CEO Jonathan Billings said: “It’s all very much led by the people that use the service. It gives people a meaningful activity to do and keeps them engaged.”
The 46-year-old added: “People are learning new skills and learning how to prep food, not all food comes from a tin.
“We don’t want to be sustaining anyone on the streets or for anyone to become reliant on our food services. We want people to become independent and learn these cooking skills for themselves.”
The charity currently distributes around 50-80 emergency food parcels daily and will now be able to give people fresh food rather than tins.
Its aim is to teach people how to prepare their own fresh food through cooking classes.
The centre also provides people who don’t have the facilities to cook with kitchen equipment.
Mr Billings said: “Many people may only have a kettle in their home and will be living off pot noodles.”
The Bridgewater garden in Worsley will open to the public on May 18 in line with the recent relaxation of Covid restrictions.
The pandemic delayed opening plans of the fifth RHS garden for almost a year.
It will be the first RHS garden in an urban area and will bring horticulture to 8.2 million people in the Greater Manchester region.