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Gloucestershire Business News

Food distribution club needs help for its move

Organisers of a service helping people in a part of Gloucester struggling to put food on their tables have launched a Crowdfunder appeal as they move to a new base.

For over a year, Podsmead Big Local has been helping up to 60 people a week feed their struggling families during these difficult times from their base at Podsmead Community Cafe in Scott Avenue.

Now they are close to launching "Poets Pantry" at a new hub at nearby Poet's Corner where people will be able to get a bag of shopping for just £1, to cover transport costs.

Les Jevins, Podsmead's Big Local's community development & engagement lead, said: "We have been working to reduce food poverty for over a year in co-operation with Fairshares charity to utilise food items that would not make it to the supermarket shelves or food that would otherwise be disposed of.

"We are not a foodbank as such, but a food distribution club. This removes the stigma associated with foodbank use and enables people to feel that they are helping to reduce food waste.

"Over the last six months we have all had to deal with the impact of Covid-19. Ranging from lockdown and shielding to lack of contact with friends and family. Through financial loss and finding it difficult to put food on the table and feed our family.

"Food poverty has become an issue, not just for those on benefits but for those who have been furloughed and made redundant. Families that were just about managing are finding it difficult to provide food and, in some cases, parents are going without meals to ensure that their children are fed.

"Since the beginning of the first lockdown we have seen more than double the demand for support.

"We have been given the opportunity to move the Butterfly Food Distribution Network into new premises which will allow us to continue to grow and increase the support we provide to more families and individuals who need a little extra help.

"We need your help to get the project up and running, so we can support those families that are struggling to feed their families and ensure that as many people as possible don't have to go without so that their children can have healthy meals.

Les's wife Lisa said all sorts of people, including young mums and pensioners, had benefitted from the service.

"We've never turned anyone away," she said.

The Poets' Pantry Crowdfunder page is raising money to equip the new base with things like furniture, cupboards and equipment. The total raised currently stands at £1,100 of its £4,250 target with six days remaining.

Visit the page at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/poets-pantry-a-resource-to-combat-food-poverty 

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