As a result of this alliance, the Mighty Meals initiative was created. Since its inception, surplus food equivalent to over 1 million meals has been redistributed across the Midlands to front-line charity organisations. The scheme provides all the essentials families need to make nutritious meals with and caters to the different dietary needs of the diverse communities it serves. Mighty Meals was created with the vision that no food should be wasted, and no person should go hungry.
The partnership has also resulted in the opening of a Nottingham warehouse to cope with the increase in demand created by the ongoing pandemic and several national lockdowns. Every day we redistribute enough food for around 10,000 meals. The food is redistributed from FareShare Midlands’ new depot to refugees, low-income families and those who have been forced into hardship because of the pandemic. The new depot has provided an opportunity to reach more communities and groups in the area and allowed FareShare to extend its School Holiday Provision in the summer of 2020, to reach 3,485 students per week and thirty-six Community Food Members (CFMs) with food for local children.
Not only has the partnership provided support for people living in the most financially deprived areas of Nottingham, but it is also a vital lifeline for newly vulnerable families experiencing loss of income because of soaring unemployment. Broxtowe Community Project is a FareShare Midlands food member group who have been responding to the growing need for food in the area. Ellie Broxtowe CP Project Coordinator says, ‘We recently supported a family where the couple had both lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, around April 2020, and were so incredibly grateful for our support. They said,‘Helping them to make sure their family was fed allowed for just one of their worries to be taken off their shoulders during a time of uncertainty’.
One in every six children in Nottinghamshire is living in poverty, with Nottingham city representing the area with the highest portion of children living under extreme financial hardship, according to new government figures. Almost a year into the pandemic, the situation has drastically deteriorated. An additional one million more people are living in poverty as a result, with 200,000 of these being children. The economic crisis will continue to have a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of children living below the poverty line in the UK.
Simone Connolly, Director of FareShare Midlandssays:
‘The rising number of people and particularly children facing food poverty each day is alarming. We are grateful to be able to partner up with an organisation that shares the same values as us and are willing to act on these issues together. The initiative has brought welcome support into communities in the East midlands and as we continue to meet the increasing demand in 2021, we are certainly proud to look back at our joint efforts in 2020 and are humbled by the response from our food members’.
Shahid Bashir, Muslim Hands CEO says:
‘We are delighted to partner with FareShare Midlands and create the Mighty Meals initiative, which will allow us to be in a stronger position to serve the communities we are part of. To see the equivalent of over 1 million meals being distributed and helping so many vulnerable families and individuals across the East Midlands, is testament to the fact that through working together and supporting each other, great things can be achieved’.