Members of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) have showed their support for the NHS by providing frontline workers with locally-produced food hampers.
Medical professionals have always provided an excellent service to the farming community at times of need and continue to do so throughout this pandemic; this was the motivation behind the UFU's gesture.
UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt said: “We are delighted to be able to provide these locally produced food hampers as a way of saying thank you to our NHS staff who are working relentlessly on the frontline, battling against Covid-19.
We will never be able to repay them for putting our needs before their own, but we wanted to do something that would highlight our appreciation for the incredible service they constantly provide.
"Members of the farming community who have been affected by the virus or have needed their expertise in the past, have been overwhelmed by the caring nature, commitment and dedication of our NHS staff.”
The Northern Ireland produce within the hamper was sourced from Glenarm Castle, located in Co. Antrim.
Partnering up with local food producers, a range of homegrown products were supplied by Glenarm Castle, including: homegrown fruit and vegetables; Glenarm Shorthorn beef; Glenarm organic smoked salmon; eggs; fresh sourdough bread; as well as some treats and goodies to name a few.
Chestnutt continued: “Farmers have overcome numerous challenges since this pandemic began in order to continue producing quality food for consumers and it’s great to be able to gift this hamper filled with local food that adds a personal touch.
The farming community is intertwined with the NHS in many ways, with many members of the community carrying the view that the medical field is a vital service to the agriculture industry.
"Many UFU members and their loved ones work in our health care system. We depend so much on our health care service and all those within in it. Their efforts cannot be commended or recognised enough,” Chestnutt stated.
The UFU deputy president concluded by mentioning that the Farm Families Health Checks Programme provides a valuable service to farmers at local livestock marts and community events, while the service of the Air Ambulance has been critical to the rural community.