Local Food Economy

The Stokes Croft Food Project: Get involved

By Lisa Furness

Set up by local business, charities and campaigners the Stokes Croft Food Project is a collective effort by local businesses and volunteers to produce and distribute cooked food packages in the community. Lisa Furness from The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft introduces the project.

The COVID-19 crisis has created a number of food supply crises that have hit our local community in Stokes Croft hard. Homeless food distribution has moved off the streets into hostels and hotels, so the people who are left on the street are struggling to access any food support at all.

Some vulnerable people self-isolating lack the wider social support to get regular groceries. Households who have lost income due to the pandemic are struggling to receive financial aid quickly enough, and kids who received free school meals now require food at home.

How can food businesses help?

We are looking for local growers, producers, food shops, grocers and restaurants to join the Stokes Croft Food Project. This project depends on businesses that are willing to donate:

1. Fresh food that would otherwise be thrown out or basic kitchen ingredients
2. Time to help prepare and cook the food
3. Takeaway containers to transport the food
4. Kitchen space and/or freezer space

Some of the food will be distributed fresh and hot to rough sleepers in the area, the rest will be frozen and distributed to vulnerable households that have registered for support. While we will prioritise need in our local neighbourhood, we are joining a city wide effort to tackle hunger and we will make sure that no food is wasted.

How can individuals help?

  • Every week we need donations of fresh food, raw ingredients, plastic forks and spoons, plastic cups and bowls, takeaway containers, orange/blackcurrant squash and pre-packed cakes etc.
  • We need one-off donations of thermos flasks and insulated food boxes to allow us to transport boxes of hot meals and soups from Jamaica Street to Broadmead.
  • There will be someone in the kitchen at Jamaica Street Stores on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday 11am-4pm who is able to accept donations.
© Colin Moody

What’s happening already?

The chefs at Jamaica Street Stores are cooking 150 vegetarian meals every Tuesday afternoon for this project, and 100 meals every Sunday.

The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft is working with Bristol Housing Action Movement, B.O.S.H. the National Food Service and Caring in Bristol to distribute those meals to those most in need.

Whether you are a business that can donate hundreds of takeaway containers or five boxes of apples, or you are an individual with a spare thermos flask or a bag of potatoes, your help will count.

Real hunger is visibly growing on the streets at the moment and a small effort made collectively could make a huge difference to those most in need in our community.

For more info or to get involved please email Lisa at stokescroftfoodproject@gmail.com.

Join the conversation

So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

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