From your award winning charity
28 November 2023

Press Release: Open Kitchen to receive more meals by FareShare Midlands Big Give Appeal

Press Release: Open Kitchen to receive more meals by FareShare Midlands Big Give Appeal

The Open Kitchen initiative will be receiving extra meals this Christmas via FareShare Midlands Big Give Appeal to meet sky rocketing demand.

· 96% of FareShare Midlands Charity Members are seeing the effects of the cost of living crisis.

· 70% of Members are seeing more families with children among those new to their services.

· 1/3 of Members seeing new people are serving more older people.

FareShare Midlands, the region’s largest food redistribution charity, is aiming to raise £50,000 to deliver an extra 200,000 meals to struggling families and individuals across the Midlands this Christmas. Once again, FareShare Midlands is participating in The Big Give Christmas Challenge from 28th November to 5th December. The Big Give is the UK’s largest match-funded campaign and, for seven days, every single donation is doubled.

FareShare Midlands takes nutritious surplus food and redistributes it to around 500 charity members, feeding over 67,000 vulnerable people living in food poverty each week. These charities live at the very heart of their local communities and, with the cost of living crisis continuing to wreak absolute devastation, they are seeing unprecedented levels of demand across the region. The food being shared is more than just a free hot meal, or a cheap bag of groceries; it's a lifeline for families, children and the individuals in our region.

Millions are being driven into food insecurity and others even further towards absolute poverty. For some - families on low income, the elderly, and people suffering with addiction or homelessness – what should be a time of joy will most likely be a nightmare. Worries about the spiralling cost of household essentials may push many to breaking point, with only the prospect of a long, hard winter to come.

FareShare Midlands food goes to organisations like ļֱ, who run The Open Kitchen in Nottingham for homeless people, low-income families and children in need. Serving 120 meals every day, The Open Kitchen also provides a community-centred space where people are welcomed with respect and compassion. Imran Khan, Manager, said “When the Open Kitchen started, FareShare Midlands was the first organisation we got in touch with. Everything on the shelves in the Kitchen – all the bread, milk, snacks, fruits, tinned food – everything comes from FareShare. Without the donations, this is not possible. We really need your help, FareShare needs your help”.

Adam, his wife Kelly and their son are regular visitors to The Open Kitchen and for 3 months they have been living in hotels – a different one each week. Adam says “I’ve got a roof over my head and I’ve got a locked door between me and the outside world. There is a hell of a lot of people out there that haven’t even got that. They have to live day-to-day, they can’t store food for later on in the week, they have to eat day-to-day – and it just doesn’t work. The amount of homeless people around the city centre has got a lot, lot worse over the past few years. People are starving”.

FareShare Midlands provides food to organisations like Spark Burntwood and Burntwood Be A Friend. Spark supports low-income families, providing groups, activities and hot meals. Its sister charity, Burntwood Be A Friend, aims to alleviate food poverty and reduce isolation, and runs The Community Store. Steph O’Shea, Family Support Worker, said “People are struggling and it’s having a knock-on effect, which means that services like ourselves are forever being inundated with requests for help. Without the food that we receive from FareShare Midlands, some families are not going to have a Christmas dinner this year. People in the local community will be going without this Christmas”.

Shannon is a young working Mom who came to Steph, burdened with debt and unable to afford to replace broken appliances in her home. Shannon is a single parent to a 5 year old son, who is undergoing diagnoses for autism and ADHD. Shannon says “I can’t make my son’s Christmas the best Christmas ever, because I’m stressing over making sure I’ve got enough food, making sure my rent’s paid, my gas, my electricity. I wish I could give him the Christmas that a 5 year old would want”.

Simone Connolly, FareShare Midlands Chief Executive said “the frightening level of need in the Midlands cannot be overstated. Almost all of our members are helping more people in need every week – and it’s no longer just the vulnerable. The cost of living crisis is affecting everyone, with our members seeing nurses, police officers and local councillors asking for support. This Christmas we want to make sure no-one in the Midlands goes to bed hungry, and that families facing tough times have nutritious meals on their tables. We want to help children go to bed with full bellies and hopeful hearts, and grandparents to be able to have supper without worrying about having the heating turned on”.

To donate to The Open Kitchen please click here.

You can find out more about FareShare Midlands and The Big Give

ļֱ UK

Established in 1993, ļֱ is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.