Bucks Big Community Takeaway tackles hunger
A Bucks- born communitive food initiative, intended only for the short term, isn’t going away as hungry families continue to struggle.
Providing freshly cooked meals in Amersham, Chesham, the surrounding villages and High Wycombe, the Big Community Takeaway was born out of necessity during the Covid pandemic in 2020.
While the entirely volunteer run group has been supported by different charities and community boards, it relies on donations.
Hannah Marsh, communications and fundraising head and a trustee, expressed her shock at food poverty levels: “It’s disgraceful that food poverty is an issue in 21st century Britain, and I can understand why people are embarrassed to ask for help.
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“But there’s no need to be."
Their 100-strong volunteer team are compassionate and helpful, and the service is completely confidential, she said.
Ms Marsh explained how the initiative, now a well-oiled machine, came to be: “We were born out of the pandemic and originally thought we’d only operate for a few months.
“But we soon found a lot of people needed our support.
“We have provided help to families during the school holidays and will do as much as we can with partners to continue this.”
They currently provide around 150 meals each week from their kitchen led by Lisa Walker and driven to people by volunteer drivers.
The Big Community Takeaway has delivered 13,500 meals to 247 families, and raised £51,000 to help less people go hungry in the area.
In the first Covid spring 2020, the two founders Mark Rosales and Mark Rann got together when they heart the story of a woman who got home from a Covid ward and didn’t have any food.
They decided to help NHS workers on the front line.
Ms Marsh said: “But it then evolved to those who lost their jobs, and we saw a lot of people struggling for food.
“For some people, it just doesn’t seem to be getting any better, they just don’t have the money to get out of it.
“They rely on not just us but food banks and community fridges.
“They have to make a choice between fuel and food.”
The clients they help range from parents with children to elderly, she said.
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She added: “Some people who come to us are unable to work, but there are lots of people who are earning enough money.
“We live in the most affluent parts of the country, and you wouldn’t believe this is the situation in the 21st century.”
The Big Community Takeaway’s volunteers are taking a short break to rest, but service returns on June 7.
“Sadly, it looks like we’ll be going for some time because the need is there, and if we can reach out to as many people as people.”
The Little Chalfont foodbank collection is looking for tinned food donations on Saturday 14 May between 9am-1pm in Cytiva Car Park and Village Green.
Bucks Free Press
Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times
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Last updated by System Admin on 27th August, 2018