We have repurposed one of our shops on the Bodmin Highstreet to help feed our Cornish communities through the pandemic. It came after being forced to shut our shop during lockdown and wanting to find a way the space could continue to support those most in need.
Each week over two tonnes of food is being sorted into food parcels and then distributed across Bodmin and the surrounding areas. We have also been lucky enough to be able to support other groups with this new project 'The Fare Exchange', giving access to the food, for free, to other community groups feeding their communities during the Pandemic.
Coronavirus has brought new challenges for us all, we are just trying to make life just a little easier for the community during this challenging time. As a small team we wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without the huge amount of support we have received and all the new volunteers that have joined us to make it happen.
It has been refreshing seeing so many young people come forward wanting to help the more vulnerable in our community, the energy and passion they have brought has made it more than just a lifeline for those that receive the food, but also as a team we have been able to support each other, it has been a challenging time for everyone.
This is a fantastic opportunity for our community but it has also helped our volunteers, In lockdown many have needed to find a way to keep themselves occupied, through being involved as part of this team they have been able to overcome some of the personal challenges they have also been facing. We have all loved helping people in this challenging time and for many their involvement has helped them consider how into the future they can become more involved in the community.
The Fare Exchange, in the last month alone has distributed food for almost 2,500 food parcels, each week there is more demand and more people being fed, it seems that this is far from over yet. As well as supporting their our local community in and around Bodmin and Camelford, Cultivate Cornwall have also been able to support other food projects across the county to help them access food to distribute to people who need it in their communities. Each week as much as one tonne of food is being donated to Bugle Library of Things, Lighthouse Community Centre in Liskeard and St Erme.
We spoke to Jo who is managing the distribution of food in Bugle and this is what she had to say; "This has been a lifeline for so many, just in our small village we are now feeding 150 people each week, without the Fare Exchange we would be forced to make choices between who can eat and who goes hungry, The fare Exchange has allowed us to ensure everyone in need is able to get access to food.”
This has only become possible by working with all these amazing different groups and we are delighted we have been able to help them in some way. But this has been more than just a group effort from a few, this would not have happened without the continued support of FareShare Southwest, alongside Tesco, Asda, The Hive, WRAP, DEFRA, The National Lottery Community Fund, Western Power, Groundwork and the Red Cross. Not to mention all the people from across the community who have made donations and given up their time.
Fairshare Southwest have been key to our ability to expand to the thousands of meals each month that we are able to give away, in the last month we have often been donated as much as 5 pallets of food from them. We have been talking to FareShare Southwest for over a year now so we are delighted to now be able to work with them on such a large scale.
Our blog is designed to keep you up to date on Cultivate Cornwall news and all the different projects we are working on.