Foodshare's Good Neighbour Project
We used to have a regular visitor at the foodbank, an elderly lady who would call in every Saturday morning for a cup of tea and a chat. At our insistence, she would accept a few provisions.
Sadly she is no longer with us, but it made us realise there are many others like her, in need of some occasional food support and most of all some company.
The challenge has been to reach out to people who are to some extent isolated. We think the answer lies with a good neighbour, someone in a community who is very likely already looking out for others and giving a helping hand.
So at the beginning of March Foodshare launched the Good Neighbour project on the Evenlode estate. Via Lesley, a long-time resident, we invited a few elderly people to visit the food bank.
We opened it just for them; Foodshare volunteers collect them and act as companions for a 'private shop', helping them choose a few things they need. Then afterwards we spend an hour over refreshments and conversation before taking them home.
We think it's a good formula, a little food support and some company, certainly welcomed by our guests and enjoyed equally by our amazing volunteers.
Now we are looking to work with some good neighbours in a few other localities, to reach some more people in need of a little food and friendship.