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Community Project Providing Cooked Meals For Families In Need

Published on: 22 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 24 Apr, 2020

The newly formed Stoke Community Support has brought churches, schools and other organisations together to ensure families struggling to cope due to the coronavirus have hot meals.

Based in Guildford’s Stoke ward, that includes Bellfields and Slyfield, the project is being led by St John’s Church in Stoke Road, St Peter’s Shared Church in Larch Avenue and the charity FoodWise.

Its aim is to deliver up to three cooked meal per week to families in need.

Its first deliveries went out Thursday last week (April 16) and volunteers delivered more than 225 meals to 45 families in one day!

Stoke Community Support group’s admin and packing team.

The Revd Nick Hill of St John’s Church, said: “We have new referrals every day and we anticipate that we could soon be feeding over 200 families per week.

“It’s easy not to realise that across Guildford in an average week there are hundreds of people struggling day-to-day to meet their family’s basic needs. The coronavirus outbreak is dramatically increasing that, with other families finding themselves going from just about managing to not coping due to reduced hours, job loss or illness.”

Packing the deliveries.

Nick adds that the project is a community-led response with the meals currently provided by external suppliers, with plans to produce meals in local schools led by professional chefs with volunteer support.

And he points out: “Special care is, of course, being taken to ensure the government’s safe working guidelines are being adhered to as well as standard food safety requirements. The meals are packed up and delivered through no-contact deliveries by volunteers. This is a real example of community love and support in action.”

Volunteers waiting to deliver the meals.

Thanks to the volunteers’ support, costs are kept as low as possible. However, in order to ensure that the project can meet the current and anticipated level of need, it are looking to raise £100k through grants and donations from the public.

It is appealing for donations to help reach that goal. Click here for details. 

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