Edlington Community Organisation


ECO FOOD SHARE AND SAVE

Location: Edlington, Doncaster

Start Date: 1 February 2016

End Date: Ongoing

Grant: £2500

Project: The project aimed to pilot a “pop up” food share service across Edlington & Warmsworth targeting people furthest from the community radar and those who are vulnerable or facing hardship crisis, so they can overcome immediate difficulties and be ready for opportunities and challenges ahead. Issuing hampers made up of food and non-food donations, providing hot meals, companionship, a vital service to hungry people and families and addressing people’s wellbeing, loneliness, safety, housing, employment and benefit issues, supporting those who are affected by fuel poverty.

Key aims: the project aimed to support a minimum of 250 beneficiaries and achieved this goal:

Foodbank Sessions          14

Individual cases               161

Parcels                                322

Hungry bellies fed            768

Pets fed                               194

They created a support mechanism to share experiences and knowledge of food access and shortage. They have helped a reduction in local crime due to easier access to food the people now attend the drop ins to take surplus food instead of stealing.

Efficiency: They have agreements now in place with One Stop, Netto, Tesco & Lidl where we collect surplus stock to give out to those in need. This provides additional efficiencies by using food and household items that would otherwise be destined for landfill. The local churches and schools also have collection points where people can drop off food donations and we have recently signed up with Fare Share – meeting their guidelines and quality standards.

Employment and Skills: Aswell as increasing volunteer opportunities within the community, the project also gives people the confidence to upskill and become more socially active. Throughout the duration of the project we have increased peoples 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.

Social and Economic Regeneration: They notice a huge increase in food parcel requests during the school holidays as families who usually access free school meals have the added pressure of providing an extra meal while the kids are off school. 

They hope that by working with these families on a social level they can gain information about their circumstances and offer a helping hand. It also gives us the opportunity to highlight any safeguarding issues or additional support requirements.

Sustainability: they have worked towards sustainability – offered support service that builds with increased donors and more volunteers to take ownership. The project acts in a socially responsible way, addressing the current needs of our residents to maximise the positive impact that our projects have on the local community and by constantly reviewing our effectiveness they can evolve and enhance the service.

Quotes:

“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 Martin, Food Bank client

The Author

Written by Lorna Hadley

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