Cost of living crisis: Peterborough charity supporting foodbanks now building distribution and community centre

The founder of the charity says the centre could double their distribution to foodbanks across Peterborough to 12 tonnes of food per week - feeding 2,000 people.

By Adam Barker
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 5:15 pm

A charity that distributes excess food from supermarkets to foodbanks across Peterborough is raising money to build a distribution and community centre.

Food For Nought is a charity which saves surplus food from supermarkets and farms from going to landfill and delivers it to foodbanks and community centres for people in need.

The charity is now raising money to build a distribution and community centre in Gladstone Street, which it’s fundraising for.

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Cocoa Fowler and charity Food For Nought are building a new distribution and community centre in Gladstone Street, Peterborough.

It currently delivers six tonnes of food to 12 centres across Peterborough per week - which that charity’s founder, Cocoa Fowler, says could be doubled if the charity builds the centre.

“That would be 12 tonnes of food,” he said. “We’re currently feeding about 1,000 people a week - and that could easily be 2,000.

“There is excess food when we collect it from supermarkets and farms - more than double what we collect. We are unable to collect any more because we don’t have a distribution centre, enough vehicles or volunteers.

“The situation is desperate. The cost of living crisis is creating more clients for all of the foodbanks and centres we deliver to. The foodbanks are crying out for more and are running out of food a couple of hours after we deliver to them.

The building is currently an empty warehouse and the charity is hoping to raise £20,000 to begin building the centre.

“We need to find a way of getting them more food - and completing the centre is one of the ways we want to do it.”

Food For Nought currently operates from Mr Fowler’s home in Dogsthorpe.

It has benefitted from the generosity of a Peterborough family - who let the charity pay a minimal rent for the centre on Gladstone Street after their father passed away and wanted the property to be used for a charitable cause.

The building is currently an empty warehouse and the charity is hoping to raise £20,000 to begin building the centre. They have also submitted a bid for £300,000 of funding from the National Lottery.

“It’s a five year plan,” Mr Fowler said. “We’ve got to build it from scratch.

“Everything we want to do will involve the local community. The kitchen will be a teaching kitchen so we can use the excess food we collect to do cooking courses and turn it into usable food for freezers, which can then be delivered.

“Upstairs we will have storage space, an office and a conference room. We will run job clubs and invite ex-forces, frontliners, police, ambulance and fire crews as well as schools and other local community groups to use it as well.”

To help Food For Nought build the centre, you can donate to the charity’s Just Giving Page by clicking here.