We currently support more than 6000 people every year with our community lead food bank, community shop, recipe box schemes, kitchen garden and 24hr food lockers based at Repton Connect Community Centre in Ashford. People are telling us they are missing out because they can't get to us. So we need to get to them! Many people are struggling in rural areas and we need to reach them. People laughed at us when we converted an old Tuk Tuk during Covid-19 to make local deliveries but it worked! Now we'd like to buy and convert a van, add shelving, refrigeration and get out on the road. We know that to do this well, we'll need to employ a someone to help run the project. We're passionate about creating employment opportunities for local people. We'll create a new team of volunteers including young people and people with additional needs to help run the project. In six months time we'd like to be out on the road, getting to know new communities, continuing to reduce food insecurity.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
We take an Asset Based Community Development approach to our work ('ABCD') which means we operate at street level, working with 'Community Champions' to design, develop and lead projects. We value people's skills, experience and assets to work with their neighbours to promote activities, services and opportunities. By working at street level people want to try new ideas and this is one of them! Our Community members started Kent's first community fridge 3 years ago to redistribute surplus food and created the Peoples Pantry food bank as they wanted to do more to address food insecurity. Seventy local people formed a Facebook group and started to run the pantry together to increase access to food. We now support over 6000 people every year but want to use our sustainable shop model to reduce food insecurity further and reach more people, especially in rural and farming communities. Our shop has been running for a year now and we know it works....we just need to reach more people.
Steps to get it done:
About the space
The whole Borough of Ashford in Kent and maybe beyond!
Ashford Borough Council