Community-spirited PHP residents are helping to support vulnerable and isolated local people by serving healthy, affordable meals which have been prepared using good-quality produce saved from waste.
Residents from sheltered schemes at Simmonds Close in Oakdale, Selby Close in Broadstone, Millfield in Creekmoor and Stanfield Close in Parkstone are among Poole’s very first Community Food Members, and accept sizeable FareShare food deliveries every week.
The food – which usually includes fresh and in-date fruit, vegetables, meat, baked items and other sweet and savory packaged products – is transformed for residents to enjoy in the comfort of their communal dining rooms.
The Community Food Members pay a fee to cover FareShare’s delivery and staff costs, returned during regular breakfast clubs, lunch clubs and evening buffets which both residents and members of the local community can attend for a small donation. Around 100 PHP residents have benefitted from affordable meals so far.
FareShare supports vulnerable people in our society. The food supply organisation takes surplus food and redistributes it around the country, where it is used by charities and community groups to help feed those who need it.
Last year alone, FoodShare saved 7,961 tonnes of food from waste, delivered produce to 2,135 charities and community groups, and provided meals to 16.6 million vulnerable people.
PHP’s Community Involvement Officer, Claire Wade, oversees the Poole project and organised a visit to FareShare’s Southampton depot so PHP residents could learn about the initiative.
Claire said: “The visit helped residents visulalise what FareShare was all about, and they were very excited about what they could achieve by getting involved. Food poverty is a significant issue in Poole, and with so many of the town’s older residents living on low fixed incomes, we felt there was a real opportunity for PHP to step in and support such a worthwhile project.”
Community Food Member Gill Akejder, who has been a PHP resident for six years, said: “FareShare is such a great idea. The first meal we served was gammon, new potatoes, green beans, carrots and parsley sauce – and the only things we had to buy were the potatoes! We also had yogurt and fresh fruit for dessert. We’re looking forward to welcoming even more of our neighbours to join us over the coming months. It’s so exciting!”
PHP residents who are interested in getting involved with the FareShare project should contact Claire Wade on 01202 264430 or via email. The breakfast and lunch clubs are open to anyone over the age of 55. For details, see the PHP website or Facebook page.