Most of us eat well, whether we follow a strict diet, meal plan or just go with the flow, we are the lucky ones. It’s easy to think that the whole of our city does the same, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. If it were, the people at FEED foodbank at the Vineyard church would be twiddling their thumbs all day, but they definitely aren’t. They are in the middle of a massive refurb of their facility to allow for more people to get more food for their families each week. Their new facility has a grand opening this weekend to showcase to local people how they help the increasing number of people in the city who can’t afford to feed their family week on week.
They have created a bright and welcoming cafe where people can get a cup of coffee and talk to someone about other areas of life that they are struggling with, be it housing, or benefits or the myriad of other problems that can creep up when money is an issue. Their food “shop” is no longer housed in a portacabin outside the church but in a purpose built area, and can now be laid out like a mini market. This means that people can easily choose the 20 things a week that they need the most (rather than being handed a prescriptive bag of goods decided by someone else, which is how many foodbanks operate). Small changes like this make a big difference to people who have had to take the brave step to admit they need the foodbank in the first place.
They can also accept more fresh food as they now have room for more refrigeration and are working with supermarkets and restaurants to take food that would otherwise go to waste.
We don’t create much food waste here at Box Local towers as we pre-order only what our customers want, but we wanted our Food Festival box to be more than just a showcase for what we do, so we donated £2 of food for every small festival box we sold this week. By concentrating this money on what was seasonal (and therefore at it’s cheapest), we could maximise what we gave to them. Hopefully we will be able to do more in the future.
Meeting the Pastor and looking round the new facilities as I dropped off our relatively small contribution I saw the scale of the operation. It is no mean feat to help feed 90 families a week, but FEED manages to do it with the help of various companies in the city as well as the public donations at supermarkets, offices and schools. Next time you see one of their donation bins, perhaps put in that two for one pack of beans or biscuits you didn’t really need. It could help someone more than you know.
To find out more about FEED check out their website, and if you or your company can do anything to help do get in touch.