Welcome to the Food Hub
1pm - 4pm
We can make exceptions out with these hours for those who require immediate support.
Rules of the hub
Please form an orderly queue, observing social distance.
Please wear a mask unless medically exempt.
Please respect staff/volunteers and everyone else at all times, unsocial behaviour will not be accepted.
Please don’t judge or comment on what others receive, you may not know their circumstances or number of people in the family. We strive to be as fair and proportionate as we can to everyone.
Please be patient when staff/volunteers are re stocking.
Remember the environment, and bring your own bags if possible. If we have to purchase them, it means less funds to supply more important items.
You will be offered a supply of staples such as pasta/rice/cereal/tins, etc. You will also be offered some additional items from our shelves, fridges and freezers. This will vary from week to week depending on our stock.
You can choose from the selection of fresh fruit and vegetables on display outside the door. Please do so responsibly and fairly, in doing so it will ensure that there is enough for everyone.
If you want any ideas or advice on how to cook or prepare items please ask.
Who can come?
The short answer is anyone! We are not a Foodbank, therefore referral and justification for coming along is not required. Everything we provide is free of charge. Our priority is our young people, however the service is also for their families and anyone else in the community who needs our support.
Why a food hub?
Our ethos is about inclusion, not exclusion. We are the only community support with a fixed base in the area, therefore it is vital we support the community to rebuild itself.
If we can help save a family £20 on a food bill, it is money they can use to heat the house or buy other needed supplies they might otherwise not been able to afford. It also allows families to try new food types that they may have been reluctant to buy, in case they didn’t like it and therefore wasted money. We are also able to give ideas on how to use and get the best from unfamiliar and different food and ingredients.
How did it begin?
We have always fed the young people when they are at the playground. With all the running, jumping and climbing it is important that they have plenty of fuel to do so. We did this on a small budget, picking up bargains and relying on donations. We now have several funding streams that allow us to feed the children in a more structured way. The local area does not have a shop, and the issues around food, financial and social insecurity are well documented. Therefore, we felt that there was more that we could do to support those young people, their families and the wider community. 4 years ago we sought funding to start a Community Food Membership with Fareshare, which along with other donations allowed us to develop the Food Hub to support with food supplies away from the playground, and also start an inter-generational food project. It has grown from there.
Our younger people told us that they wanted to support the older or less mobile members of the community with food. They wanted to get involved in order to break down barriers and negative perceptions between the generations.
They now help us prepare and deliver hot homemade meals to their doors.
A “buddy” supermarket visit project is also in the planning stages. This will involve taking those members of the community to local supermarkets in our minibus along with the younger ones who will push trollies and pack bags for them.
What has changed?
We were feeding about 30 children a week in term time, and about 300 a week during holidays. That has grown to around tenfold. We are now providing over 500 hot meals per day during school holidays. This includes up to 8 different dishes, catering for all diets and tastes. We also supplement the meals with our own produce grown in our garden and polytunnel. What we don’t use for these meals, we make available to the community free of charge. When we started this service about 20 families used it, now we have about 250 a week.
Fareshare are a national charity who receive and distribute quality surplus food from major supermarkets and suppliers. All food meets Food Standards Agency guidelines however cannot be sold at retail/wholesale for various reasons such as, bar code and packaging errors, over order, etc.
We have been Fareshare members for 4 years and during that time have received a vast quantity of quality and varied food items. We also receive female hygiene products, toiletries and pet food for distribution to our community. Without this support we would not have the funds or resources to do what we do.