News release from 22/06/2023
Mobile Food Hub delivering food to South Cambridgeshire
A new Mobile Food Hub, funded by the District Council and run by not-for-profit organisation, Hope CIC, is being launched to further support communities during the cost of living crisis.
Fresh produce and essential items, some of which will be free and others at below retail price, will be brought directly to villages around South Cambridgeshire to help people with rising food prices. It is the first service of its kind in the district.
The initiative was launched amid figures from the Consumer Prices Index in April which showed food shopping bills have risen by almost 20% in the last year.
The Mobile Food Hub will visit Papworth, Orchard Park and Duxford weekly, with further locations to be confirmed. It will make its first stop in Duxford on Thursday 29 June. The villages have been selected based on Census deprivation data, mapped against where current foodbanks and food hubs operate from.
Often the biggest barrier to setting up a foodbank or food hub is a permanent location to store food between opening hours. By centralising storage, this allows more villages to have access to this service and reduces food waste as any excess food can be used the following day.
Any resident struggling with increasing costs, including those who live outside of these villages, can access this Mobile Food Hub by turning up on the day. No vouchers or referrals are needed.
The van will be easily identifiable via the Mobile Food Hub logo and the Council is encouraging any resident who feels they may benefit from it, whether once or regularly, to make full use of the service.
There will be a mix of fresh and long-life food on offer. Food is coming from both donations and purchasing from local suppliers. Residents will also be able to buy essential affordable items.
Cllr Bill Handley, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This food hub serves two purposes. On the one hand, the charity collects food (often from supermarkets) such as fresh fruit and vegetables that are still perfectly edible, but which would otherwise be discarded. This produce is then distributed by the hub at low - or no - cost. Customers will have the option of making a donation to support the hub if they so wish.
“The other purpose of the hub is to discretely support residents who are finding it difficult to make ends meet. We continue to be very aware of the challenges faced by residents during the cost of living crisis. It is upsetting to think that, in the modern day, we are in a situation where people are struggling to feed themselves and their families, so we want to do all we can to help. I am proud that we, as a Council, continue to progress and support innovative solutions such as this and ensure that we provide people the support they need so that they don’t go hungry. I really hope that any resident who either wishes to do the green thing and use food that would otherwise go to waste and/or feels they will benefit from the food and other products on offer free or at a low cost will enjoy getting on board. We are delighted to have been able to provide funding to Hope CIC to make this possible, and grateful for the efforts they are putting in to ensure this is a success.”
Hope CIC is a non-profit oriented organisation that provides support services for deprived families.
Director and Founder of Hope CIC, Mahesh Hettiarachchi, said: "If you would like to contribute to our cause and support our team of dedicated volunteers, there are a couple of ways you can get involved. Firstly, we welcome volunteers to join our team, and we appreciate any assistance you can offer. Additionally, your donations of non-perishable food items or monetary contributions will help us reach even more individuals and families in need. To learn more about how you can participate or donate, please visit our website.
“Furthermore, you can help us spread awareness about this new initiative by following Hope Against Poverty CIC on Facebook. By sharing our posts, you'll help us reach a wider audience and ensure that all residents are aware of the van's scheduled stops. Thank you for your support and for joining us in our mission to combat poverty and provide assistance to those who need it most."
Visit the Hope CIC website for more information.
Mobile Food Hub stops
- Address: Car park behind Co-op, Papworth Everard, Cambridge, CB23 3UY
- Shop open: Every Monday, 1pm to 2pm
- Starting: 3 July
- Address: Unwin Square, Cambridge, CB4 2AD
- Shop open: Every Wednesday, 12:30pm to 1:30pm
- Starting: 5 July
- Address: Duxford Community Centre, Hunts Road, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, CB22 4RE
- Shop open: Every Thursday, 11am to 12pm
- Starting: 29 June
The Food Hub will arrive at each location half an hour before the shop opens and will leave half an hour after the shop closes.