Help Hope to reduce food poverty in Northampton
Hope is a poverty and homelessness charity and social enterprise that has been helping people on low incomes for over 40 yrs, with a loyal and dedicated body of supporters in the local area.
In our long standing day centre for the single homeless and disadvantaged we feed and clothe over 100 people a day, who have no proper home or survive on very low, or no income. We provide food, support and training to help them survive, change, grow and escape poverty.
This new project extends Hope's reach to deliver more help to a wider group of people on low incomes, including families with young children.
This new project is focused on food poverty
Food is central to our mission: it's the one thing people can't do without. Everyone should have access to affordable, healthy food. We currently supply food through our day centre to people on low incomes, often destitute or homeless, and we train people in catering and tool repair as a step out of unemployment.
In the new project we will grow healthy veg and salad, and supply this alongside tinned and packaged food, plus toiletries, at 1/3 shop prices to a new and wider group of people on low incomes.
Our customers are people who live out on Northampton's estates, and who struggle to put food on the table within the resources they have.
How the new project will work - and why it's not a foodbank
This new project is a food club, not a foodbank, and it's based on membership, a bit like a food co-operative. People on low incomes will be able to join our food club and through membership can get access to subsidised food, delivered through pop-up shops in community projects, on deprived estates where they live.
It's a radically different model from the foodbank system, and we think offers more dignity and sustainability. In foodbanks, people can only get food in crisis, only a few times a year, and even though the people who run foodbanks may treat people kindly and well, it's still often a degrading experience to consumers to feel that they have reached this point. Unlike in foodbanks, our food will be available throughout the year to help address long term poverty week in, out. The club's affordable food will free people from the worry of food poverty all year round, and allow more spend on fuel, rent and clothes for the family. The only criteria for membership is low income, such as benefit entitlement. Through membership, they will also have a say in how the project is run, volunteer and get involved.
Some of the other benefits of the project
We will grow healthy veg and salad on reclaimed urban land, using recycled garden tools that our homeless service users repair in our sheltered workshop and social enterprise. The veg will be grown by people getting training in horticulture through Hope, and so escaping long term unemployment through getting new skills.
The project will also help tackle food waste, avoid landfill and reduce food miles.
This is a social enterprise, operated for a charity
This is a project built on a commercial arrangement between people in need and Hope. It is based not on a hand-out, but very much a hand-up, and this gives greater respect and self-worth to our customers. As members, they have a sense of ownership and dignity. It's more sustainable, long term: it makes commercial and business sense alongside addressing need.
This project is about alleviating poverty in a direct way, through sensible, ethical commerce. That's why we have also teamed up with the local Credit Union, Harvest Money, (http://www.harvestmoney.co.uk/ ) to allow people to access their low cost loans and bank accounts as part of the scheme, and with existing local community groups, including Blackthorn Good Neighbours, to run the project. The project is locally rooted and co-ordinated by local people.
All the money raised through this appeal will be directed to the project. All 'profit' from sales from the club is recycled into training clients and running the project or our wider charity. No individual will receive any financial benefit from the crowdfunding appeal.