On Christmas Eve 2020 we held our third successive ‘Free Food Shout’ events in the local community.
One ‘Food Shout’ was based uphill’s in the social lounge at Affordable Foods Gainsborough and the other was based at our premises adjacent to Bread and Roses Community Pantry in the town centre. We were delighted we were able to put on two separate events at different ends of town so they were accessible to all and ensured we were able to distribute even more food.
We were able to provide free food to anyone in need in our community with no requirements; anybody was welcome to turn up and fill their bags to get them through the Christmas period. Our team tirelessly collected food for the whole week leading up to Christmas Eve as well as all day on the 24th until 7:00pm. From these collections we were able to provide everything you would need for a Christmas Dinner from turkey, goose, chicken and gammon, to carrots, brussels sprouts, parsnips, potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, gravy, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, Christmas puddings, custard, mince pies, Reindeer smash cheesecakes and much, much more – all for free!
We had also already produced 400 of our own home-made Christmas dinners that we offered at the food shouts and distributed to supported living and elderly homes in Gainsborough and Retford along with a plethora of food and gifts. We were immensely proud of how much food we distributed that week especially on Christmas Eve.
Due to the current circumstances we had to adapt our food shouts to comply with the Government Covid-19 Guidelines on hospitality/events. This included limiting the amount of people who could enter at once and having to collect track and trace information before entering. We were thankful we were allowed the event to go ahead and hope to be able to resume our food shouts as normal in 2021 so parents can bring their children along. Thank you to Gainsborough Police and PCSO’s for supporting us on Christmas Eve keeping all volunteers and attendees safe and help managing social distancing.
Feeding Gainsborough would also like to say a huge thank you to ASDA, Aldi, Bread and Roses CIC, Children in Need, Eudaimonia, Fareshare, Feeding Britain, Florentino’s, Greggs, HIS Church, Williamson’s Farm, M&S, Lidl, Tesco, Morrisons, , The NLCF, The Co-operative Bank, Keyfund SESF, LCF, LCC, IFAN, WRAP and Inkind Direct for all their support throughout 2020 and on Christmas Eve to make such a special event take place.
Since being back in the office after a well needed rest, our team have worked out that in the week leading up to Christmas we supported 400 families providing food and support through our food shouts, community food champions and our mini food pantries at various outlets across the area. We also gave intensive support to 80 families, weekly, for a six-week period running up to Christmas. In-between Christmas and New Year we provided free foods to over 100 families per day outside Bread & Roses Community Pantry in the Market Square.
During this whole period Feeding Gainsborough distributed 17,109 additional meals.
Our final thank you goes to our incredible group of volunteers who give so much of their time and effort to these projects – we wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you.