Since May this year, Stratford-upon-Avon’s Foodbank has been piloting the provision of fresh fruit and vegetables in its food parcels which would otherwise contain food items in packets, tins and jars.
We are a long-running supporter of the foodbank with colleagues volunteering their time for activities such as donation drives at local supermarkets as well as regularly donating items of food and have recently donated £200 to this new scheme that’s helping residents in need to access fresh fruit and vegetables.
The scheme is proving successful, with over 85% of foodbank customers opting to add some fresh produce and variety to their diets and around 50% of people who access the foodbank are Orbit customers.
The foodbank is based within the Fred Winter Centre where we also have a Better Days hub which offers face to face support to customers who need help with a range of concerns such as managing finances, health and wellbeing, employability and skills.
Cheryl Flavell, Place Area Lead for Orbit commented: “We’re all aware of the importance of adding fresh fruit and vegetables to our diets, but for people who need the support of a foodbank to feed themselves and their families, this can be more challenging. Our Better Days service is all about taking a wide view of the issues that people are facing and offering the help they need to support their health and wellbeing, that’s why we’re really pleased to support this scheme which is helping both Orbit customers and the wider community to maintain a healthy diet during challenging times.”
Kate Morris, Foodbank Manager from Stratford-upon-Avon Foodbank added: “The inclusion of fresh fruit and vegetables in our food parcels has been a key strategic objective for the foodbank. Our initial six-month pilot project has been very well received by everyone accessing our services. However, this has presented us with funding challenges as it is not possible to rely upon donations for these items. We were extremely grateful to Orbit for their donation this month, which is supporting food parcels for both their customers and the wider community. The foodbank would welcome support from other organisations, to enable the ongoing inclusion of fresh food beyond our initial six-month pilot.”
St Peters (Saltley) Housing Association and Street Arts Project also donated £200 each to the fresh fruit and vegetable pilot.
To find out more about the free advice and support available through our Better Days service visit here