As some of you are aware I am the Children’s, Families and Young People Outreach Worker for the Methodist churches in Basingstoke.
Normally I would be doing things like visiting schools, running a Messy Church or working in the Youth Café, but as with everything else COVID-19 brought a quick stop to that. In my role in supporting these groups I learnt about the Community Food Link (CFL) and how it used the food that supermarkets would normally throw away and redistribute it to support local families.
Having worked with and supported these families, I knew what this meant to them, just receiving a little extra help or a treat to get through the week. I saw how a packet of bread sticks made an 8-year-old so happy because she could have them in her lunch box just like her friends.
When I offered my support in April 2020, I begun to realise the amount of food we as a nation waste and still 11 months later it still shocks me to see what supermarkets would throw away if CFL did not collect it.
During December alone CFL collected over 2 tons of food, good food such as a perfect apple that could not be sold because it was on its best before date. Food that if CFL had not collected it, would have gone into land fill…food that helped feed over 1,000 people in Basingstoke.
CFL has partnered with schools, nurseries and 6 churches to help get the food right to the heart of the local community. As well as feeding people we’ve had opportunities to chat to and support people who have been furloughed and then made redundant or have had to leave their job to home school their children. The food just gives their weekly shopping that extra boost and we have built good relationships.
CFL has no criteria, everyone is welcome and our aim is to take surplus food and share it out to all.
If you would like more information on this project please contact myself or the CFL website. Also if you have a little spare to support us to help cover the costs of our van please click on this link.
Please continue to hold the families of Basingstoke in your prayers.
Children’s, Families & Young People Outreach Worker
Methodist churches in Basingstoke.