Are you getting help with accessing food?: "We are involved in picking up donated supermarket food to use in my work. We know that we work with children and families who have food shortages and I can't always factor in the cost of providing extra and so we have been utilising surplus food for a few years. It means that we can provide a "second breakfast" named after the hobbits who have second breakfast and to avoid highlighting that many dont get first breakfast. We provide food by default in our work as it is often a barrier to people participating. Knowing that many will struggle with food at Christmas is sad, especially when at this time of year the waste food from supermarkets is pretty obscene. This Friday we picked up our largest donation for some time and that will be due to the over-ordering and fickle nature of the Christmas season. For our family this does mean that due to this work and extra effort to pick up food to share with people in our work that actually often we have a kitchen full of surplus food items that need using or processing. I'm sure this helps our own food budget more than we realise. We rarely have to buy bread products for example as that is one of the most wasted food that we collect, and bananas. Doing this work though, it is interesting that some families that struggle with money and food won't always take certain foods like bananas that look a bit black, even if they are fine when peeled. It is sometimes surprisingly difficult to donate some food to families so this is also a part of the work we do-cooking and learning about ideas for new meals and ways to use certain food especially the wobbly carrotts at the bottom of the fridge! I think we can do this work with people as they know we are in the same boat-it doesn't feel patronising coming from us in the way it would from a big organisation. I know some people find it hard to access food banks as they find it too shaming. We try to say, this food is wasted if you can't use it, please help us not to waste it, rather than, you might need this food-it's a small detail that can make all the difference to how some people feel about accessing food."

Howie P
Dec 16, 2020

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