We have been incredibly lucky to secure a brilliant new location on the outskirts of Northwich which will enable us to create amazing community impact in the local area whilst also supporting food groups across Cheshire West and Cheshire East. CW&C and CE councils, food groups and many experienced partners have been involved in the planning and creation of a poverty strategy and we can therefore provide a comprehensive solution to food provision and logistics across Cheshire.
The Food Hub will provide:
- Warehousing capacity for storage of foods – ambient, chilled, and frozen
- Sourcing, purchasing, transportation and distribution of bulk foods across Cheshire to local groups to fill the gaps of food currently received from elsewhere.
- FareShare continued provision and the capacity to extend up to 30 groups
- A foodbank provision run two afternoons per week and storage of emergency food boxes
- A Social Supermarket where local residents can come and purchase foods at low cost, plus surplus foods for free to reduce food waste and provide food for all in need.
- Connected work between the Foodbank and Social Supermarket – cross referring and assisting residents to move out of food poverty
- A retail outlet providing low cost new and preloved furniture and white goods, providing much needed household items at a price people can afford, helping to break the debt cycle
- Drop-In support groups – As part of the connected working plan we would invite local support groups to run a drop in facility at the Hub to extend services beyond just food support. Groups such as Baby Bank, MIND, CAB, Credit Unions, Job Centre and more.
- A large community space to be developed from ideas from the community, possibilities include:
- Community Café - using the foods available from the Social Supermarket
- Community Kitchen – teaching basic cooking skills and improving nutritional knowledge for better food choices, again using food already available.
- Community groups meeting space – a room to hire at low cost
- IT provision – to allow the community safe access to a computer and the internet
- Training facility – for job coaching and employability skills to budgeting and neighbourhood self-support groups.
- A gardening / landscaping volunteer group trained by GroZone Northwich to become knowledgeable and self-sufficient to continue the work themselves. They will also look at rainwater harvesting and clean energy ideas to bring an environmental element to the project.
All of the above will be coordinated by a small core of paid staff, including a Hub Supervisor, and a team of amazing volunteers and work placements.
The following volunteer roles / training opportunities will be available at the Hub:
- Warehouse Operations
- Customer Service
- Food Handling / Storage
- Food Preparation
- Employability skills
- Mentoring / Buddying other volunteers
- Building Maintenance
- Gardening / landscaping
- Reduction of food poverty in the local area of the Hub but also across Cheshire through food sourcing and distribution.
- Reducing food waste by moving it quickly to groups who can pass it on or used in our own Social Supermarket
- Working with other local support services with signposting and referrals, providing wrap around care to those most in need
- Socially inclusive activity – anyone willing to volunteer their time will be found a job matching their ability and trained and supported to upskill if appropriate
- Employability skill provision to those looking to find their way back to the job market.
- Increasing resident’s mental health and self-esteem through active and motivating work opportunities.
- Creating local support systems through facilitating space for activities / groups
- Provision of structured volunteering and work placements to alleviate loneliness and provide possibilities to those who may not find employment elsewhere
The Hub will thrive as part of the local community and aims to be a social enterprise reaching self-sustainability as soon as possible.
The Hub will need support from local and regional businesses to keep supplies of food and other resources coming in, plus help with skill sharing to both the Hub and local residents. We are especially looking for anyone who can provide items for a Christmas box project helping those on tight budgets receive a parcel the week before Christmas. Any help available will be very gratefully received, please contact [email protected] to discuss your ideas.
We believe in the community helping itself and have set up this crowdfunding site for people to “Pay It Forward”. Any donation made will be passed on to someone visiting the hub or other food group needing support for food purchases allowing their money to stretch further. It will also help support the food box schemes or purchasing food in bulk to distribute across the groups.
If you would like any further information about The Cheshire Food Hub plans then please contact us:
- By email [email protected] or [email protected]
- By Phone 01606 …….
- Our Facebook page @CheshireFoodHub
- Our website www.cheshirefoodhub.org.uk