FOODBANK parcels in Stratford now include fresh fruit and veg.
Since May this year, Stratford’s Foodbank has been piloting the provision of fresh fruit and vegetables in its food parcels which would otherwise contain food items in packets, tins and jars.
The scheme is proving successful, with over 85 per cent of foodbank customers opting to add some fresh produce and variety to their diets.
And generous donors have been stepping forward to donate £200 to help with the running of the new scheme which cannot rely on donations.
One such generous donor is housing provider Orbit.
Orbit is a long-running supporter of the foodbank with colleagues volunteering their time for activities such as donation drives at local supermarkets as well as regularly donating items of food.
Around 50 per cent of people who access the foodbank are Orbit customers.
Orbit spokesperson Cheryl Flavell said: “We’re all aware of the importance of adding fresh fruit and vegetables to our diets, but for people who need the support of a foodbank to feed themselves and their families, this can be more challenging.
“We’re really pleased to support this scheme which is helping both Orbit customers and the wider community to maintain a healthy diet during challenging times.”
Foodbank manager Kate Morris added: “The inclusion of fresh fruit and vegetables in our food parcels has been a key strategic objective for the foodbank. Our initial six-month pilot project has been very well received by everyone accessing our services. However, this has presented us with funding challenges as it is not possible to rely upon donations for these items.
“We were extremely grateful to Orbit for their donation this month, which is supporting food parcels for both their customers and the wider community. The foodbank would welcome support from other organisations, to enable the ongoing inclusion of fresh food beyond our initial six-month pilot.”
St Peters Housing Association and Street Arts Project also donated £200 each to the fresh fruit and vegetable pilot.