Peterborough soup kitchen fed thousands in the city throughout 2021

Throughout 2021 and the challenges they faced, Peterborough Soup Kitchen made sure over 8,000 clients didn’t go hungry.

By Rosie Boon
Sunday, 9th January 2022, 2:00 pm
Throughout 2021 volunteers donated 13,916 hours of their time to help feed those in need.

Despite the pressures of the pandemic and a rise in Covid cases, the dedicated teams of volunteers at Peterborough Soup Kitchen (PSK) have helped thousands of residents in the city. 
PSK operate seven days a week from Wellington Street Car Park with Covid measures in place. The brilliant 190 volunteers make up 23 teams which operate across the city, even on Christmas and Boxing Day to make sure no-one went without over the festive period.

The teams handed out 11,007 breakfast bags, 1,962 lunch bags, 100 food boxes, 8,440 school breakfast bags and served 8,627 clients. The fantastic volunteers gave up 13,916 hours of their time.

PSK Trustee Kevin Dawson, said: The last two years have been a real challenge for the soup kitchen especially with COVID restrictions being introduced and then regularly updated. Although the pandemic did not stop us from handing out food, from March 2020 until Oct 2021 we handed out over 20,000 food bags to the homeless who were housed in hotels.

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Whatever the weather, PSK provided food and drink to those in need in 2021.

“In July 2021 the hotels closed and the “Everybody In” initiative set up by the government then stopped and we were then able to go out in our van seven days per week operating to a COVID-19 Risk Assessment to ensure COVID Secure practices were in place. Up to July 2021 social distancing measures meant that we had to limit the number of volunteers in our kitchen which put an added strain on our teams.”
A ‘huge help’ to schools, PSK started supplying breakfast bags to schools in December and the trustees agreed to continue to provide this initiative for another year.

One of the biggest challenges the team at PSK are facing is that the teams have to ensure a minimum of three volunteers are in each team.

Kevin has noted that they are seeing a ‘steady rise’ in client numbers but the team will continue to work their hardest to tackle food poverty. 
He said: “We expect that due to predicted rises in prices many more people will experience food poverty thus causing a rise in demand for our services. We are also working very closely with many local organisations similar to ours, offering food and clothing to the homeless, in an attempt to ensure that food items reach as many people as possible.”

To help the PSK you can make monetary or a food donation by going to their website, or sign up to volunteer.