Project: Delivering nutritious meals, fresh fruit and vegetables to vulnerable families through their ‘FoodLife’ scheme and providing families with fresh eggs through their ‘EggShare’ initiative
Fund: NET Coronavirus Appeal (more info)
Restore Hope, a charity which provides support for families, children and young people facing challenging life situations, has been working tirelessly throughout 2020 to support families in the local area who have been struggling; both financially and with general wellbeing.
Having transformed their barns into a packing and distribution centre earlier this year, the charity swiftly moved from distributing thousands of children’s ‘Boxes of Hope’ and ‘Easter Blessing Boxes’ to becoming a packing and distribution hub for fresh meals, fruit and vegetables to the local community with the help of a second £5,000 grant from the NET Coronavirus Appeal.
In addition to providing families with the core ingredients to create fresh and healthy meals at home, Restore Hope’s FoodLife scheme has prepared and delivered over 9,000 fresh meals to people across Amersham, Chesham, Chorleywood, the Chalfonts and the surrrounding villages. They have partnered with several local organisations, including the De Vere Latimer Estate team who have been hard at work making ‘Dinner is Served’ meal packs to provide families with nutritious, ready-to-go meals.
“We’re doing what we can to support people and have put our resources into getting fresh nutritious food to as many people as possible”, shares Graham Wakeman, the Charity Director.
“FoodLife keeps growing with the demand for fresh fruit and vegetable boxes continuing to increase each week. More and more referral partners are coming on board which is great but does go to show the concerning reality of local need.
“By the end of the year we will have delivered a staggering 50,000+ portions to peoples doorsteps!”
Restore Hope has also been making sure to stay in touch with recipients of support, giving families support phone calls and referring people to help from partner organisations where needed.
Not stopping there, the charity have also recently launched their ‘EggShare’ initiative and now have their own free range chickens so that they can deliver fresh eggs to families along with their fruit and vegetables. Plans are in place to have more chickens in 2021.
“Next year, as the pandemic eases, we recognise the massive need that families will have for ongoing financial support but also to improve their wellbeing, develop their skills and find employment”, explains Wakeman. “As such we are going to continue to develop FoodLife in 2021 through the sourcing, growing, packing and delivery of fresh food.
“However, as vital as this is, we want to do so much more than simply provide crisis support. As soon as we can, we will be inviting people back to the beautiful old farm here to provide a whole range of opportunities for people to invest in their own wellbeing, develop their skills in cooking and growing food and in many other practical areas, gain work experience and find support. It’s going to be another big year!”
You can learn more about FoodLife here from Restore Hope’s launch video here: