It’s World Food Day on 16th October and Community Action Network have voted for Hope For Food to be our Community Heroes in the Spotlight.
Hope for Food is a local, independent, volunteer run, registered charity. Hope For Food receive no funding from either local or national government and rely entirely on donations to provide their services to a wide variety of people in need across the BCP area.
Their primary focus is to feed people who are experiencing food poverty. This includes:
- people who are rough sleeping and on the streets
- people who are vulnerably housed and
- families and individuals who are struggling to pay bills and keep a roof over their heads.
Hope For Food provide two community meals every week of the year. Numbers attending these meals range from 60-90 people a night. No referral is required and everyone who attends receives soup and a hot meal and food that can be taken away such as sandwiches, cake, fruit and crisps. In addition, they are provided with clothing, shoes, toiletries and other items essential to self- esteem and wellbeing.
For people who are housed but suffer from food poverty Hope For Food run a food bank, currently supplying about 140-160 parcels every week. In order to access this support families and individuals are referred by a variety of professional agencies such as schools, social workers and health visitors. Families receive a basic food parcel every week for six weeks consisting of tinned and packet food, fresh fruit and vegetables. Families are also given a toiletries pack and household cleaning products.
A growing part of the charity is in providing people who are moving into accommodation with items they need to be able to set up home. This is for people who were homeless finally moving inside, as well as families leaving bed and breakfast accommodation. Small kitchen equipment, pots, pans, crockery, cutlery etc is needed, along with bedding, bathroom essentials and other things to make accommodation both workable and comfortable.
Mary from Hope For Food says:
“The number of people struggling is rising and we aim to meet the needs of everyone who genuinely requires our help. We can only achieve this through the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of local people.”
Mary was on Hope FM on 27th September, listen to her interview here