A voluntary group in Rochford is helping to feed vulnerable people by redistributing food and cooking meals using surplus items from local supermarkets.
With funding from Sanctuary Housing’s Maureen’s Gift Fund, which provides grants to run community projects, St Marks Food Drop In collects excess produce from Tesco, Waitrose and three local Co-ops and delivers to people in need.
Meals are prepared by volunteers daily, meaning that food goes further in the community, reaching families, single people, day centres and older people.
Since the initiative started a year ago, 3,055kg of food has been gathered in 126 collections - the equivalent of 7,273 meals and 9,775kg of CO2 savings.
St Marks applied for funding from Sanctuary Housing’s Maureen’s Gift Fund, which offers grants of up to £1,000 to charities, resident groups and voluntary organisations that need a financial boost to get community projects up and running.
Laureen Shaw, from St Marks, said: “With help from Sanctuary we have purchased more reliable containers and bags so that we can make more meals and safely transport food to the people that need it most.”
Chris Silvey, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, added: “This project is led by inspiring and determined volunteers who are making a huge difference in the community.
“We’re delighted that the funding will go towards such a worthwhile cause and I would encourage people who run other community projects in the area to get in touch about funding.”
Projects funded by Maureen’s Gift should benefit residents in the district and fit within one of five themes:
- employment, education, skills and training
- health and wellbeing
- community safety and infrastructure
- financial inclusion
To apply or find out more about Maureen’s Gift, contact Sanctuary on 0300 123 3511 or 0800 131 3348. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.