“It’s an awful position to be in when you have to decide if you should feed the family or put the heating on.” Thomas never thought he would need to use a foodbank. When he and his wife were furloughed their savings had to cover that missing 20% of their earnings and they quickly spiralled into debt as fuel costs continued to rise. Midcheshire foodbank were there to help, and with a grant from Cheshire Community Foundation, they were able to provide food, put the family in touch with Citizen’s Advice to help with budgeting and fuel costs.
The CCF grant paid rent for a second location for the foodbank, essential to meet increasing needs and keep volunteers covid-safe. It also paid for additional Christmas supplies, so that every family using the foodbank in December got a Christmas bag including mince pies and selection boxes, staples such as gravy and vegetable oil, and a voucher for a local butcher.
These special touches at this time of year are so meaningful to the families who receive them. They bring dignity and a little joy to what could otherwise be a very bleak winter.
At the Cre8 Grocery, the small but mighty team of young people joined forces with a number of other Macclesfield charities and used their refrigerated van to deliver food parcels to hundreds of East Cheshire homes. At Easter they delivered Easter eggs, they partnered with fareshare to distribute otherwise surplus food, and working with the Hope Centre they handed out 50 freshly-prepared meals to homeless people each day.
The young people working on this project are themselves benefiting hugely from the experience, gaining skills and experience to assist their future social mobility.
Changing Lives Together will spend this winter handing out another 800 slow cookers to families in need, along with fortnightly recipe cards and store cupboard essentials, thanks to a CCF grant from our End Food Poverty fund. This basic piece of equipment can be a lifeline for someone struggling to make ends meet. At 23p for 8 hours of use, slow cookers are an energy-efficient option for cooking on a budget, and can produce a hearty family meal to warm up the winter months.
Food banks are telling us about the sudden increase in new beneficiaries, who might be impacted by their furlough wage, suffering from the rise in fuel prices, or have lost second jobs in the hospitality sector due to the pandemic, and that additional income was what kept them out of poverty. Nobody in our beautiful county should be going hungry this winter. By donating to CCF, you are putting food on the table for thousands of Cheshire and Warrington families who will otherwise struggle. Together we are changing lives for the better.