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Food for Thought: History and Mission

Let’s Build Health Grants are available to help create opportunities and develop local activity that improves health and wellbeing. The grants are available in the following People Keeping Well (PKW) Community Partnership areas: Burngreave, Chapelgreen, Firth Park/Shiregreen, Southey Owlerton.


This round we received some fantastic applications and funded a total of 17 local voluntary and community organisations delivering a range of projects! Meet Food for Thought:


Food for Thought was sent up in January 1999 following a stewardship campaign at Firth Park Methodist Church. It has always been a mission to serve a deprived area of the community and introduce a Christian faith to those who wanted it but did not want to attend church regularly. Weekly two course meals and drink at a very reasonable price are served to anyone in the community. Early on we started to take meals out to elderly church members who were housebound.


Having been able to join FareShare has enabled us to keep costs to a minimum but still be able to give regular money to church for the use of facilities. Following the refurbishment of the church to include a catering kitchen and fully working servery, Food for Thought were able to donate most of the equipment either from our funds or though obtaining grants as a charity.

As part of our agreement with FareShare we are able to provide food for Boy’s Brigade camp which enables them to keep their costs down so that families with very little money can let their children attend.


At Christmas we started to provide a Christmas day meal, tea and gifts to all people in the area who were lonely and on their own. Twice a month we ran a food bank on a Wednesday through collections from Tesco.

Post-Covid

We were able to deliver parcels at Christmas to all who were on their own from a grant we received from SOAR. We started back April 21 to deliver meals to housebound people, and Joyce delivered about 8 food parcels each Saturday to families who were struggling, through joining FareShare.


In October 2021 we were able to open the Hub to start serving meals by putting all the Covid restrictions in place, while still delivering meals to those who were still housebound. Another grant from SOAR enabled Christmas Day for those on their own to go ahead, and also to deliver a Christmas gift to the elderly and housebound.


We have been very fortunate to receive a grant to replace the industrial dishwasher along with money we had been given from a customer who had died. Donations given at Christmas from people not connected to the church was just the right amount to purchase an industrial microwave.

The back passage to the kitchen was all overgrown and very untidy. We had a donation and a generous gift of free labour from a firm to clear it and lay down chippings.


The numbers attending lunches every week is encouraging and on the 4th Thursday of every month we are supported by local councillors and retired ones who come for their lunch.


I now work alongside The Family Worship Centre to start a store room to help them give food to many families who are struggling. I have been able to link them with a food driver under Food for Thought. I collect on a Tuesday evening and have everything set up through Food for Thought so it seemed sense for us to work together.


The volunteers are a very loyal group who work extremely hard but we could use more, especially as some volunteers are not very well and others with family problems.

Please get in touch here if you're interested in getting involved: https://firthparkmethodistchurch.weebly.com/food-for-thought.html

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