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SUPPORT continues to grow for a community scheme that helps struggling locals, with more local and national businesses pledging to donate to the initiative.
Kick-started by Kirstie McKeown at the end of April, Melksham Food For You is an initiative that collects food from local businesses at the end of the day that can’t legally be sold the next day, but is still fit for consumption.
Following a story in the Melksham News in June, Kirstie has received a number of offers of help, from local business including the ArtHouse Cafe and Newsbox, as well as donations from the public.
The story also caught the attention of national organisation Neighbourly, the internet platform that unites local community projects with people and businesses, that can help by contributing time, resources or funding.
The partnership with Neighbourly means that Kirstie and her team of volunteers will be able to increase the support on offer to those people in need. “As of the 7th August we are going to be collecting surplus food from local supermarkets,” announced Kirstie.
“This is all thanks to Melksham News and the story that was run. It’s amazing as I wouldn’t have heard of Neighbourly otherwise. If it had not been for the article, we would not have all this help on offer and it is amazing.”
Demand for the food has also increased since the story went public. “We are getting more new people coming, especially children. I’ve got a lot of children, and parents too, coming up to collect their lunches for the next day, which was part of my plan to give kids a free lunch over the holidays. We are getting there, I’m really pleased.”
With the increase in the amount of food being donated, plans are afoot to find a more permanent location for distribution and the team will be meeting with a local church to discuss how they might be able to help. The team are also planning a number of fundraisers to help towards finding a base for the scheme.
“We will be working on some very interesting fundraising ideas such as a bingo night, a local band with a comedy act, race night and maybe a tarts and vicars night with the help of The Bear pub, who have said they will help us any way they can.”
Kirstie also intends to set up a Facebook page for the scheme and open a bank account, meaning that people can start donating to the cause and she will be able to register Melksham Food For You as a charity. Kirstie and her band of volunteers now also sport brand new t-shirts with the scheme’s logo, helping to promote the initiative around the town.
Food is collected and distributed after 6pm on weekdays from outside the Town Hall and after 5pm on weekends. If you would like to volunteer or contribute, or if you can help with storage premises, please email Kirstie at firstname.lastname@example.org