Community food project supporting families through lockdown
Written by Jane Lythgoe on 30 November 2020
Families in Leek continue to get support throughout the lockdowns thanks to a project giving them access to fresh produce.
Leek’s Community Cupboard has been providing bags of fresh fruit and veg and other food items to families throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. The project works with local retailers and wholesalers in the area with a team of volunteers delivering the bags to families. Food bags cost £3 each and more than 400 families are members of the scheme.
Since the start of the first lockdown in March, over 2,500 food bags have been delivered to families.
At Haregate Community Centre in the town, funding from Staffordshire County Council’s local community fund also helped run family cookery classes. Families joined professional local cooks for fun sessions, focusing on healthy living and how to make healthy eating affordable.
Laura Cottingham, Manager at Haregate Community Centre said: “Supporting families throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has been a real challenge and we’ve had to change and adapt the way we do things to keep everyone safe.
“Unfortunately we’ve had to temporarily close some of our physical groups but we have been making sure we have food for anyone that needs it.
“The Community Cupboard project is having a real positive benefit on people’s lives and means that families are eating better. We are all pretty amazed with what we’ve been able to achieve and are extremely grateful to our team of volunteers. Without them, many of these projects and services would not be able to take place.”
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire said: “It’s been a really challenging time for everyone with the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns and the restrictions. I also know that it’s been particularly difficult for many families but it’s great to see communities, organisations and businesses rallying together to support each other.
“These are all wonderfully simple projects. Not only are families getting access to fresh produce, helping to keep them healthier, but also providing access to cooking classes and recipes to help them cook healthier meals at home.”
The Community Cupboard continues to grow and in addition to the food bags, now provides other food and household items with help from Fareshare and local supermarkets. Work to bring organisations together to explore the potential of a local food Co-op in other parts of the county is also underway.
People can find out more on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/communitycupboardleek or by calling 01538398378.