Charities provide food support for Peterborough families and schoolchildren

Food support has been given to families and schoolchildren in Peterborough,

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 5:00 am
Family Action in Peterborough is providing additional food and snacks to children at local pre-schools thanks to food donations from Tesco

FoodCycle, a charity which uses surplus food to strengthen the local community by offering healthy, nutritious meals, is working with Peterborough-based firm Hotpoint to help those suffering from food poverty or social isolation in the city.

FoodCycle Peterborough has been serving a free weekly meal since 2016. Its dedicated team of volunteers collect surplus food, cook a three-course meal and serve it to guests every Monday lunchtime from Park Road Baptist Church.

In 2019, the Peterborough project saved more than 19,000kg of surplus food from going to waste and fed more than 2,900 guests.

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There are several local businesses in and around Peterborough that support the FoodCycle project, along with larger corporations like Hotpoint which donates funds to all FoodCycle projects, while its staff volunteer at local meals.

Catherine Balderson, senior Hotpoint brand manager, said: “Hotpoint is now in its second year of supporting FoodCycle as part of the Fresh Thinking for Forgotten Food campaign, which challenges consumers to be more mindful when it comes to food waste.

“We’re thrilled to be supporting FoodCycle and the incredible work they do, from helping to combat the UK’s food waste issue to strengthening communities and preventing loneliness.”

One recipient in Peterborough has been 47-year-old Mark, who was previously homeless but has been helped back on his feet thanks to FoodCycle.

He said: “When I first heard about FoodCycle I was homeless, so these sessions gave me the chance to get some warm food and meet new people away from the street. The enthusiasm of the volunteers is what stands out for me – the nice welcome, the flowers on the tables – everything is done so nicely to try and make people like me feel equal.”

FoodCycle is producing a ‘Recipes for the Community’ book containing a collection of recipes sourced from FoodCycle volunteers and professional chef partners. The book encourages people to share nutritious meals with each other and will be available from December 3.

This year, FoodCycle is taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge - the UK’s biggest matched giving campaign - meaning that, for a limited time at the start of December, any donation made to the charity through this platform will be worth double its value.

During the Big Give Christmas Challenge (December 3-10), all those donating to FoodCycle through this platform will have their contribution doubled and receive the Recipes for the Community booklet as a thank you.

To sign up to volunteer or donate, visit: https://www.foodcycle.org.uk.

Meanwhile, Family Action in Peterborough is providing additional food and snacks to children at local pre-schools, thanks to food donations from Tesco.

The organisation has been signed up to the supermarket’s food waste scheme Community Food Connection since it launched in 2016 and collects donations from Dogsthorpe Tesco Express.

The group collects food such as fruit, vegetables and bakery items each Thursday morning. This is then donated to seven local pre-schools to use as snacks throughout the day, or alternatively as breakfast for children who arrive hungry.

Karen Woodcock, early years manager at Family Action, said: “At Family Action we believe that no child should ever go hungry. It’s vital to us that each child has food available to them throughout the day, whether this is a piece of fruit in the morning or a sandwich in the afternoon.

“Thanks to the food from Tesco we’re able to ensure that seven local pre-schools have a variety of snacks available. Some of the children at the pre-schools are from disadvantaged backgrounds and therefore don’t have access to basic food necessities which most of us take for granted.”

Nicki MacKay, community food connection manager for Tesco, said: “Food should never be thrown away when there are local people who need it.

“We’re keen to hear from any charities which could benefit from this programme and would encourage any interested groups to get in touch with their local store.”