Grange-over-Sands Community Foodshare

“All this started with my daughter and I. She was a young carer for almost 10 years when I was very ill. I was housebound with no transport and a lone parent, and there was just no help, nothing. We experienced some pretty grim poverty and lived on poor quality, cheap food.

“We got through, by hook or by crook, my health improved, and I began to learn to ask for help.

“We went along and helped to start Kendal People’s Café up. It was amazing. We could use their food share too – that meant we’d save about three-quarters of what we’d normally spend on food. We volunteered at other places too with a view to starting something like it in Grange.

“Now we have our own premises, a lovely space, that’s pretty much full Monday to Saturday. We run two food clubs weekly now too, activity clubs in the holidays, community lunches, and cook-and-eat sessions. We’re helping people who are working, older people, families and children, Ukrainians refugees too.

“When we were struggling, I remember I was at my wits end at Christmas time and a food bank arrived with food and toys. They came to the door and had a chat, and when they went, we cried – tears of joy, relief and happiness. Now I meet that same need week in and week out in my work.

“We get bread from a local bakery, stuff from a Greggs, Asda, our lovely local Tesco Express, and other food locally and people donate stuff too. But it’s mainly FareShare surplus.

“The magical thing that happens with this food is how it transforms into community, connection, and people improving their lives.

“Two of our mums saved up all the money they would have spent on food and used it to go on holiday to Cornwall in a caravan. It’s about helping people to enjoy quality of life.”

Rahina Borthwick – Project Coordinator, Grange-over-Sands Community Foodshare

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