At Lifeshare, we believe nobody in our city should go hungry. Our Weekend Breakfast Service has run for many years, and we have recently received support from Manchester City Council to provide emergency food parcels at the weekend when other services may be closed. But we wanted to do more.
We therefore formed collaborations with four other agencies and organizations in Manchester, and bid for more funding from Manchester City Council to provide not only food items but also education around food, healthy eating and food hygiene so that our service users receive a hand up rather than a hand-out. With applications totalling over £1.5m for a pot of only £400k, we knew that competition would be fierce but we were confident that our project was well-designed and had a high chance of success. In the end, Manchester City Council agreed with us and funding was released for this exciting project to begin.
We can’t wait to bring you more updates as the project develops, and are very grateful to Manchester City Council for their confidence in us.
- FareShare Greater Manchester tackles food waste and fights hunger by redistributing 300 tonnes per year of surplus food from the industry to 120 local organisations who in turn feed
people in need. It is run locally by EMERGE 3Rs, an environmental charity based in Openshaw, and part of a national network of 20 regional centres redistributing 5,000 tonnes of food per year to 7,000 charities.
- Lifeshare meets the need of the most vulnerable people through assistance and support for young people at risk of, or already suffering from, homelessness and sexual exploitation, and by providing weekend breakfasts and a Christmas programme to homeless people in Manchester.
- Compassion Food Bank, a Moss Side-based independent food bank, provides food for people in need as well as a drop in facility for ex-offenders and the wider community.
- Rainbow Christian Centre, a Hulme-based church, provides a range of services such as a youth club, gym sessions, summer playscheme, food parcels and advice.
- Cracking Good Food promotes cooking from scratch using sustainable and seasonal ingredients via a community cooking network. They deliver a range of classes and courses with community groups and for the general public. The cooking sessions are geared towards their needs such as specific nutritional and budget requirements.
All five organisations support vulnerable people and alleviate food poverty through their work. They either provide emergency food during a crisis or teach how to cook on a budget, because they know it is the first step in addressing the underlying causes of poverty, such as homelessness, debt, benefits, substance abuse and ultimately lift people out of poverty.
What We Will Do
Lifeshare, Compassion Food Bank and Rainbow Christian Centre will each host a delivery centre that will provide food bank support to people in need, as well as carrying out their other activities (e.g. advice and guidance, signposting to other services, youth activities, volunteer training, weekend breakfasts and street work).
FareShare will provide extensive support in sourcing food donations and running cooking classes adapted to service users’ needs.
Cracking Good Food will design a set of 2 or 3 different cook-and-taste classes adapted to service users’ needs (e.g. microwave cooking or one-pot family cooking) in consultation with the other partners. The delivery centres will identify service users who lack basic cooking and budgeting skills and refer them to the cook and taste classes. Cracking Good Food will deliver 1 session per month at each of the 3 centres, totalling 40 two-hour sessions attended by up to 480 people in total. Participants will gain knowledge and confidence, as well as leave with the ingredients, including a basic larder kit, and recipes used in the sessions. They will be more resilient as they realise cooking from scratch can save them money.
Volunteers and staff will be trained in food safety by Cracking Good Food with a view to carry on the cooking activities beyond the duration of the project.
- Meet a specific unmet demand for emergency food
- Offer emergency food as part of a broader anti-poverty package to help people acquire skills and prepare for work
- Provide emergency food alongside activities to help people sustain a healthy, balanced diet
- Address longer term causes of food poverty by: improving cooking and budgeting skills; improving access to affordable, nutritious food; and through healthy, community eating.