News release from 28/10/2021

Environmentally-friendly foodbank opens in Cambourne

Environmentally-friendly foodbank opens in Cambourne

A pilot project set up to reduce local food waste while tackling food poverty opened its doors for the first time in Cambourne this week.

Cambourne Community Food Project will be open from 11am to 2pm every Wednesday at the Hub in Cambourne, supporting the community during the winter period. All South Cambridgeshire residents are welcome to access the foodbank, which will provide affordable food from as little as 25p, as well as some free emergency food for those in crisis, plus further financial support and signposting to onward referrals, such as to Citizens Advice or South Cambridgeshire District Council’s new Income Maximisation Officer.

The Cambourne Community Food Project is run by HopeCIC (Community Interest Company) – an organisation that has run successful projects such as a community café, male support services, befriending services and supporting residents to access emergency food and other essential items in Leicestershire – with support from South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambourne Town Council, and food donations from Cambourne Morrisons.

The pilot will initially run for a trial period of four months, and residents in the area are encouraged to use the service if they are in need.

Cllr Bill Handley, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Community Resilience, Health and Wellbeing (pictured above right), said: “It’s fantastic to see what can happen when a team of dedicated individuals set their minds on caring for the community. Throughout the pandemic, HopeCIC has been supporting South Cambridgeshire residents, and it’s brilliant to see the next stage of this support come to fruition, as the four-month pilot project launches. If you live in South Cambridgeshire and you’d like access to more affordable food (from just 25p), or if you are in crisis and need to access emergency food such as you would through a traditional foodbank, please just drop in on a Wednesday.”

Left: Mahesh Hettiarachchi. Right: Seema Achall

Seema Achall, Community Champion at Morrisons (pictured above right), said: “In terms of the environment, it’s an added bonus for the project that, through partnering with Morrisons in Cambourne, not only will good ambient food with 1+ year shelf life be provided, but also some fresh food that is still good quality that would otherwise end up in landfill can be used and appreciated while it is still nutritious and fresh.”

Mahesh Hettiarachchi, Founder of Hope CIC (pictured above left), said: “HopeCIC was set up to support disadvantaged communities, in particular those who are in poverty and facing social isolation including those from BAME communities. The need for our project was identified through the volunteering work we undertook during the COVID crisis, such as delivering food parcels, collecting prescriptions and undertaking other home help activities for those who were isolated or shielding. During the lockdowns we also managed to help local schools in Cambridgeshire by providing laptops for students who did not have access to online learning.”

“Our aim is to work with our local community to identify other needs they have and support them through these needs in the long term. For now, please just drop in if there is support that you need, from affordable food to other advice."