Presentation by Sarah of Weston-Super-Mare Foodbank

on 29 January we were pleased to welcome Sarah Fraser of the Weston-super-Mare Foodbank to Wheels.  She gave a great presentation about the work of the Foodbank in and around Weston to 5 students from The Meriton Young Mothers' Unit who started our Community Vehicle Programme (CVP) this term.

The Wheels Project had approached this Foodbank after it had gifted a couple of vehicles to Foodbanks in Bath and East Bristol last year as part of our CVP. This programme is being funded through the Equitable Charitable Trust and The Meriton with the aim of identifying a community group to support by the acquisition, renovation and gifting of a suitable vehicle. Sarah was hoping to persuade the students to gift the van that had been given to The Wheels Project by Avon and Somerset Constabulary to her organisation after they have worked on it.

She highlighted that over 20 tons of food is gifted each year through a number of sources of which most were supermarkets.  This food is then given to families experiencing short term crisis such as insufficient funds to pay for the food.  An example of this included a case where a fridge or freezer had stopped working or the electricity supply had been cut off and the family weren’t in a position to replace the damaged food.  Most of the food given is non-perishable and no frozen food is given to families.

The girls were very inquisitive and some had personal experience of gifting and receiving food at their local Foodbank.

The Foodbank relies mainly on volunteers to run its programmes and often their own vehicles are used to ferry donated foods backwards and forwards from their centre in the middle of Weston.   The students thought this was a good project to support and over the next two terms will be carrying out a major service and repairs to the vehicle and will gift it to the Foodbank just before Easter with a full MOT.

During their attendance at the Project the students will have the chance to gain two elements (Community Work and Skills) towards the Duke of Edinburgh's Award which is being organised through their school.


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