We aim to tackle food poverty by providing accessible food provision in our community - this is proving essential during Covid-19!
by Ruth Davie in Prestonpans, Scotland, United Kingdom
With the ongoing pandemic we are providing two food hubs in the heart of the communities we serve and providing hundred of deliveries each day to those most vulnerable. Thousands of meals, food packages and toiletries are given out every week to those in isolation, low-come and facing financial difficulties, elderly and high risk individuals. Help us to continue supporting our community by raising money towards our food provision and soften the burden of this pandemic.
Fundamental Foods is a nutrition based initiative within the Pennypit Community Development Trust, which lies on the suburbs of Edinburgh at the heart of Prestonpans. We provide the community with food workshops, social events, youth clubs and much more, connecting people from all walks of life, from our family cooking groups, to our lunch clubs to our weekly elderly social groups. We aim to tackle food insecurity in our local area, and support all individuals from newborn to 85+ through family support, in-school groups and weekly meet-ups.
One of our newest projects is our Second Bite initiative. Did you know that 1.9 MILLION TONNES of Food is wasted by shops each year? This food is still edible and could be used to make over 650 MILLION MEALS!!!!
Our Second Bite Initiative is all about sourcing foods from local store surplus and distributing it free of charge to the community through a local pantry, set up every day in the Pennypit Community Kitchen, and also our Saturday Kitchen. Saturday Kitchen is our weekly free cafe where locals can come along for a bite and a blether where they can get a healthy hot meal (such as stovies and soup), an array of toasties and can fill their bags up with food from our pantry and frozen meals made by our nutritionists.
We are recycling food that would be discarded by local supermarkets and saving on that historical wastage, several hundreds of pounds per day. This is then put to good use through the preparation of healthy and nutritious meals for the benefit of the local communities we serve. This initiative needs to secure funding for staff costs, mileage and for extra resources to run our pantry and Cafe. We are seeking £5000 to secure this provision for 1 year however it would be great to fund-raise more money to support our other projects within Fundamental Foods and the Pennypit Trust.
Here at Fundamental Foods we run lots of different projects to reduce food insecurity and promote healthy eating. Here's a few of our other projects that any additional funding would go towards.
Lunch with the Bunch
This is our weekly favourite! We know that life can get lonely for some of our eldery residents in Prestonpans so with that in mind we created a socialising cafe-like project for our over 60s. This is completely free of charge for the group of regulars (and newbies) who can get an array of nutritious favourites like mince and tatties, steak pie, fish pie, sausage casserole and much much more. This is a big hit with the ever-growing group of attendees who frequently praise the “braw” food and after the success of the project, Walking Football was created for all members of the community to join for a morning of exercise and good nutritious food. We always promote good health and well-being so we like to encourage exercise and nutrition in all of our projects.
From young to old, to parents and children - we believe that everyone should be able to cook nutritious meals. Our nutrition projects start from early years weaning groups and continue throughout the life cycle where children as young as 2 years old learn how to prepare foods. Throughout their journey they learn how to cook healthy foods - learning knife skills, ways to prepare foods, as well as learning about nutrition and tasting new meals. We believe that encouraging children to try foods from an early age at these groups can often reduce the incidence of fussy eating and the anxiety of tasting unknown foods.
We also run family and parent cooking groups for children and adults where they can learn new cooking skills, socialise with others while they eat the meals they’ve made, learn about the health aspects of food from registered nutritionists and for families it promotes a bond between the parent and child. These groups often utilise foods from our pantry or food bank and ultimately reduce food waste.
Many of our families depend on our services throughout the whole year, but this can be heightened during the school holidays where their is extra expense and food insecurity is prevalent. In two of the most deprived areas in East Lothian, PSG and Fa'side we run holiday provision lunch-clubs which are attended by over 150 children. The need for these provisions have been highlighted a lot within the media, and we have been centre of a couple of articles. A family from PSG Lunchclub recently featured in the television documentary "Scotland's Hidden Hardships" and spoke of the support given by the lunchclub and the other provisions provided by the Pennypit Trust that has allowed the family to get through their hardest times. The single mother of four suffered the bereavement of a child and husband and did not even have a bed for herself before seeking support from the Pennypit.
With the help of the Pennypit Trust, the mother has managed to create a positive and safe environment for her family and has recently been accepted into university to focus on developing her career - none of this would have been possible without the support from the Pennypit. As well as appearing on this documentary, the lunch-club was centre of a news broadcast by Channel 5 News.
These two clubs run for two hours each day of the holidays providing sports, arts and crafts, recreational activities as well as a nutritious hot meal. At the club there is also a chance to access a toiletries bank, food pantry, and a school uniform and clothes bank.
And the provision doesn’t stop there - from the lunch-club more provisions have been set up including Fa’side Fridge, Breakfast Club and Homework Club - helping the most vulnerable in the community access free food and support.
Youth Work and Volunteering
Youth work has always remained at the forefront of projects at the Pennypit, with weekly activities such as “Go4Fun” (a free youth club on a friday afternoon), Friday Night Club, and holiday sports club. These youth work projects allow for volunteering opportunities for our young people - many Duke of Edinburgh candidates, Strive and other young volunteers engage in these projects to promote their personal development.
Many parent volunteers and youth volunteers have engaged in many of the projects run by the Pennypit and have progressed into paid employment opportunities with the trust. A member of our team has progressed from a youth at our clubs, to a volunteer to now a full-time member of staff.
For more information about any of our projects please feel free to contact us on our website https://www.thepennypitcommunitydevelopmenttrust.com/ or email the fundamental foods manager, Ruth Davie at [email protected]
We will be sure to keep you updated on the difference your money is making to our projects!
This project offers rewards in return for your donation.