ECO - Food Save and Share

Edlington Community Organisation provide their local community in Doncaster with a variety of services, ranging from employment support, to counselling; from childcare to training. The Food Share and Save initiative is a great example of how wider community support can translate into learning and employment opportunities in the community.

Local Community Support

As a charity in the centre of Edlington, Doncaster, Edlington Community Organisation aims to improve and regenerate the area and improve quality of life for all its’ users. Together with the Edlington Hilltop Centre, in which ECO is based, they look to provide learning opportunities, advice, counselling and activities that boost their local community.

In 2016, the community Investment Fund provided ECO with £2500 to support their pilot “pop-up” food sharing service. The project targeted people furthest from the community, as well as those who were vulnerable or facing hardship, to enable them to overcome immediate difficulties and prepare for the future.

The service issued hampers made up of food and non-food donations and provided hot meals and companionship to users. It was a vital service to vulnerable people and families and helped address issues such as wellbeing and loneliness. In addition, accessing this service allowed ECO to provide other benefits to users, such as support around housing, employment and benefit issues.

Across the pilot, ECO managed to achieve:

Foodbank Sessions          14

Individual cases               161

Parcels                                322

Hungry bellies fed            768

Pets fed                               194

Not only this, but the project also provided volunteering opportunities within the community, and gave people the confidence to upskill and become more socially active. Throughout the duration of the project they increased people’s access to training (food safety, benefits, safeguarding, e-learning, IT), developed their employment skills, and increased access to employment support facilities by offering a free telephone and internet service.


“A support centre for anyone, you are not in-eligible for support because you work or are prioritised for being on a benefit, everyone gets the same support."

Barry, Food Bank Client



“It's one big family and part of my unofficial care / support plan”.

Ruby, Food Bank Client


The Author

Written by Natalie Irving