Tackling holiday hunger thanks to generosity of community

boxes of fruit and vegetables

Some of the food - Credit: Saffron Walden Hope Community Hub

Twenty-four families in Saffron Walden enjoyed nutritionally balanced meals, including Christmas lunch, thanks to community support.

Caroline Edmunds, the Make Lunch coordinator, said the generosity of the community has been "heartwarming".

Caroline has been involved with the project through New Life Pentacostal Church's Hope Community Hub, providing lunches to families in need throughout the holidays.

Caroline said everyone who had given their support had made a difference.

Catering company Chartwells donated 1,250 Christmas hampers to the Transforming Lives for Good Make Lunch Network, of which the Saffron Walden project was one of the lucky recipients. It allowed the project support to double.


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She said special thanks in particular are due to Sophie at Uttlesford Foodbank, Susie the community champion at Tesco, and Jane and Amanda the Waitrose community liaison leads, alongside a number of people including Dennis at the Barber Shop Co and everyone else who made donations to help make the project a success. Julie at the church also also worked tirelessly to help.

The scheme provided families the ingredients for three full meals - homemade fishcakes with sweet potato fries, healthy macaroni cheesy pasta with hidden vegetables, and Christmas roast dinner with a turkey joint. They also had gingerbread or shortbread making kits to allow children to get involved in some creative edible fun, a strawberry trifle, and a chocolate yule log.

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Caroline added: "The response from the families we support has been so positive, and a real reminder that even in somewhere as affluent as Saffron Walden, there are families who need help. The appreciation for what we have been doing has been overwhelming."

Caroline said the feedback from families included that tough times had become tougher. Others have been directly hit by the pandemic, through job losses or loss of a business. The number of families - and the number of children - in poverty has grown.

The church on Shire Hill has been working with Transforming Lives For Good and they were the inspiration behind the Bags of Hope. The original plan, two years ago, was to create a space for a lunch club, but those plans had to alter because of the coronavirus pandemic when face to face meetings were no longer possible.

If you can support the project, email swhopecommunityhub@gmail.com

Vegetables

Donated food - Credit: Saffron Walden Hope Community Hub

Food in boxes, tins and packs

Food to make the meals - Credit: Saffron Walden Hope Community Hub

Dessert

Dessert and treats for the families - Credit: Saffron Walden Hope Community Hub


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