NG7 are sourcing produce for families in need in NG7
Let’s face it. Much like a fat kid on a mobility scooter, the country isn’t in great shape. Talks of austerity and double dip recessions are taking up our news feeds and a meal out at Maccy’s is now deemed ‘fine dining’.
Although we’re all tightening our belts, most of us in Nottingham are pretty lucky. I mean, you’re reading this article, which means you must have some kind of access to the internet. You may have to think twice about buying that fois gras nowadays, but basic privileges are still there.
But what about those in Nottingham that don’t have enough money? Surely there are more and more people in need at the moment? “Austerity is talked about all of the time. Council Services are being cut all over the place and charities are struggling. If you follow that logic it becomes pretty obvious that a lot of people will be going hungry.” Says Tom Greenway, of the newly opened NG7 Food Bank. “There has always been a need for these things, but it’s only now that it’s really starting to take a toll.”
Evolving from a meeting within the NG7 community comes the aforementioned charity drive, the NG7 Food Bank. Started up by regular members of the community for those most in need, it is a unique entity that doesn’t rely on standard models of charitable food donations. “There were a lot of strings attached to the original prototype. They would exclude people for being drug dependent, alcohol dependent.” Tom remarks, when asked about why the group decided to split from the original project. “It seems very unfair to exclude people on that basis; we’re trying to avoid putting those distinctions on people.”
Currently the NG7 Food Bank is working on a referral basis from a variety of agencies, which send those in need to the bank with a collection slip that entitles them to one bag of food – there are presently 30 slips being handed out each week.
At the moment the scheme is on a 6-week trial - as a driving force behind the scheme was to help those children without free school meals during the long summer holiday - but there are hopes that this will be extended; the final aim for the bank to become a self-sustaining entity. “We’re trying to empower people to help themselves, to give the people that were in need ownership of the scheme.” Says Tom. When asked if this is something that the group are hoping to roll out in other areas of the city, he rightly points out that the NG7 area is pretty darn big, but that the co-ordinators hope the model can inspire more people to set up in different parts of Nottingham.
The NG7 Food Bank is pretty much a true definition of ‘Big Society’. Not the one being bandied about by Cameron as some pseudo-care scheme most likely thought up by his spin doctors, but one where members of the local community that have enough time and energy use it where it’s needed: To help those in the area that don’t have enough, without any other motive than to provide relief. As Tom mentions, the idea of community is at the heart of this new venture.
If you fancy joining in the community zeitgeist, the bank are looking for people from all over the city to help them out, by donating food to the project. At the moment funding is based on the co-ordinators and other volunteers' kind donations and a small about of fundraising. The group are asking local businesses, community groups and sports centres, as well as individuals to drop off a bit of food at one of the local donation points, in order to help the bank to continue to hand out food to the large amount of people who require the bags. So why not help out? Dig a bit deeper into those pockets and buy an extra tin of beans this week, or a pack of loo roll. Rumour has it that every good deed deserves another, after all.....
If you would like to donate to the NG7 Foodbank, you can do so at:
- The Sumac Centre: 6pm – 8.30pm (Mondays only)
- Sure Start at The Mary Potter Centre: 8am – 6pm (Monday – Friday)
- The Partnership Council: 9.30am – 4.30pm (Monday – Friday)
- Park House 9am – 9pm (Monday – Friday)
Please donate any of the following (or variations of):
- tinned beans, tomatoes, soup, meat or fish
- long-life milk
- toilet roll
- sanitary towels
- bags for life.
If you’d like to contact the NG7 Foodbank directly, please call 07534 167354.
Front page image: Dave Parry