Our commitment to addressing food poverty in Cornwall is ever growing and reaches deep into many Cornish communities..
Each week we receive a lorry of mixed ambient and fresh goods that we distribute out across Cornwall. On top of the 200 people we support in Bodmin we also support 18 community groups around Cornwall and this is due to grow to 30+ in the new year and as demand grows. To give an idea ,on the 15th Dec 2020 we sent out 15 tons of food, while the following week it was 11 tons in 2 days. This will help around 5500 people in Cornwall or around 1% of the population here each week or 1 in every 100 persons living in Cornwall. This is every week and this is just us and what we are doing with our dedicated team and a set of fantastic volunteers. Food poverty is real here and don't think otherwise.
We can obviously only do this as we have been supported by FareShare SW who provide us with the food, advice and support and it would be impossible without the National Lottery Community Fund who enabled us to divert our funding from textiles to food support, the landlords of the premises that we have caused disruption over the year and the very kind donations we have received from companies and the public who have given to help continued support. ( to mention one - proper Cornish gave us 6000 pasties !! How bloody good is that !)
Again, to give scale, our fuel bill is going to be around 20,000 this year most of which was spent going to Bristol each week to collect the food that we send out to initially support 5 community areas in Cornwall until this changed in December when we managed to have deliveries in place.
Although a lot of the food is classed as surplus , the 96 tons in total we have moved have all gone, without question, to families in need of a little help with the majority being in-work, with children. These people are new to foodbanks and pre-covid had no need for them. Covid has changed so much.
Our longer term aim is to set up a hub in Bodmin that will continue this work across Cornwall of which, the first stages of that are in place. We have secured between 10 and 15 tons of food each week until the end of March. To buy this would cost around £35,000 each week. On top of this we have secured a unit to work out of and enable us to work out of for the next year.
What ever we think about food poverty we must remember that this pandemic has changed things. 27% of people are expected to lose their jobs in Cornwall due to Covid and its expected to take 5 years to get back to the same level pre Covid. This maybe you, it will be people on your street or children at your school who might need a little support. There is no shame in needing help so please don't let that stop you coming forward or reaching out. Be kind. Don't judge anyone who maybe getting help, you might not know the facts. Covid has made all our lives different and it looks like there is no quick fix to get out of this so while we are all going through the storm, look out for your neighbors, give a little extra love to those close to you and reach out so your not alone. But most of all, Be Kind.
We love the communities that make up Cornwall and that's what drives us to do this. We live here, we play here and we want to help create stronger communities. We don't always get it right but we do bloody try.
Sending love out to all from John, Harry and all the team that make up Cultivate Cornwall.
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