On October 16th, a day globally observed as World Food Day, we turn our attention to a remarkable local charity, Hope for Food, which has been honoured as Community Action Network’s Community Heroes for the month of October. This recognition is not only a celebration of their tireless efforts but also a poignant acknowledgement of the escalating cost of living crisis in the UK.
Hope for Food, an independent and volunteer-driven registered charity, has earned this well-deserved accolade through its unwavering commitment to addressing food poverty, a pressing issue exacerbated by the challenges of the current economic climate.
Hope for Food serves a diverse range of individuals, including:
- Those enduring the harsh realities of homelessness
- Vulnerably housed individuals grappling with the uncertainties of their circumstances.
- Families and individuals wrestling with financial hardships, desperately trying to make ends meet in a time of soaring living costs.
Their dedication shines through in the provision of two essential outreach meals every week, a vital lifeline to the 60-90 people they serve on each night. No referral is required; everyone in need is guaranteed a meal.
Mary Duncan, trustee of Hope for Food said, “The number of people struggling is on the rise, and our mission is to meet the needs of all those genuinely in need. Our success depends on the dedication of our volunteers and the generosity of our local community.”
Recognizing that many individuals who are housed still facing food insecurity due to the soaring cost of living, Hope for Food operates a food bank, currently distributing 140-160 parcels every week. Accessible through referrals from various professional agencies such as schools, social workers, and health visitors, families can receive a food parcel weekly for six weeks. These parcels include canned and packaged goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, toiletries, and household cleaning products.
In addition to their food-centric initiatives, Hope for Food extends support by providing clothing and household essentials to families. An increasingly significant aspect of their work involves aiding individuals transitioning into housing by furnishing them with the essential items necessary to create a comfortable and functional home. This support is invaluable for those moving from homelessness to accommodation, as well as families leaving temporary bed and breakfast arrangements.
Karen Loftus, CEO of Community Action Network said, “What a great month for a great cause to be highlighted. The work that Hope for Food undertakes is truly inspiring and we are so pleased to have this opportunity to share their story.”
To learn more about Hope for Food and explore ways to volunteer or offer support this World Food Day please visit www.hopeforfood.org.uk/.
Community Action Network provides valuable advice and training to charities, community groups, and organizations throughout Dorset. Membership is free and can be easily acquired through www.can100.org. Together, let’s stand up against food poverty and make a difference in our community.