DURING the winter months it’s hard to think that spring may be just around the corner.

However, I had a spring in my step after I visited the DRC Youth Project a couple of weeks ago.

Last year we allocated DRC £42,900 for them to develop a plot at Yoker allotments that could feed in fresh food to the North-West Community Pantry which they run.

The North-West Community Pantry was established by the DRC Youth Project to provide local people with access to fresh and healthy food at an affordable price.

Part of the Scottish Pantry Network, there are several local initiatives in place which help individuals and families who are most in need of support.

Volunteering and training opportunities are also provided to young people, with an aim to move into employment once gaining experience within the pantry.

DRC Youth Project is just one of the many projects being supported across Glasgow as part of our ambitious and innovative 10-Year Food Plan.

In autumn last year they came together in the City Chambers for Glasgow’s second Food Summit to set refreshed goals over the next two to three years.

Glasgow’s recipe for success has been broken down into around 50 short-term and mid-term actions identifying practical steps to address immediate challenges and create a sustainable foundation for the future.

Reaching these goals will be a slow cooking process that we hope will achieve some long-term outcomes.

These include reducing food insecurity, increasing the availability and use of seasonal, locally grown and produced food, reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the food system, and promoting a thriving local food economy that promotes fair work and ecological principles.

Our investment in DRC Youth Project is part of this ‘from farm to fork’ approach.

Following their Place Fund award and the Food Summit, we launched a new initiative to meet the appetite for change, as part of the recent £2.242million for community projects in the city from the Scottish Government's Place Fund.

£485,000 has been allocated for projects across the city as part of our Glasgow Food System Development Fund to strengthen the resilience of Glasgow's food system, including the growing or production of food, distribution and disposing of waste.

Another successful local project in the north west, the Whiteinch Market development is an example of how community spaces can be transformed into affordable fresh fruit and vegetable markets.

Initiatives such as this build on the sense of community and shared responsibility through cooking classes and shared meals while addressing food accessibility. Just one of the many local projects the SNP is investing in to improve health and wellbeing in local communities.

Written off as a city of deep-fried Mars Bars by the metropolitan elite in London, others hold us in higher esteem.

Able to access some European-funded projects since January 1 this year, SNP Glasgow is working in advance to secure Scotland’s leading city a seat at the table.

We have been successful in joining the EU Horizon Food Trails project which brings cities across Europe to collaborate on building integrated urban food policies and sustainable food systems Glasgow has been matched with Groningen, Netherlands to work together to stimulate healthier lifestyles and raise awareness on supply chains.

Health, sustainability and inclusion are key to the joint approach.

The keynote speaker from Copenhagen – a world leader in urban food - at last year’s Food Summit was enviously eating her heart out about Glasgow’s nurturing approach to working with communities: “Every city has a different starting point and that’s why knowledge exchange is so important.

"Should I give some advice to Glasgow, it would be: keep up the good work at both local community and council level.

"You inspire all of us.”