Residents encouraged to help others by supporting World Food Day
Residents in St Helens are being encouraged to support United Nations World Food Day this weekend (Sunday October 16th) and beyond by giving money and or donating to help those most in need in the borough.
The initiative is part of St Helens Together which includes the Council, the local NHS and a range of partners including Halton and St Helens Voluntary and Community Action group (VCA) who will be staging a number of initiatives to help boost food supplies to help residents who are struggling most in the local area. The money and food will go to the St Helens Community Food Alliance, which includes food pantries, food banks and community cafes.
The Partnership, led by the VCA, will be helping to co-ordinate a number of drop off opportunities where residents will be able to donate food items both before, on and after World Food Day through local community centres, food banks and food pantries.
Starting from this week, food donations are now being accepted at the following sites in the borough:
Sexton Allotments - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Derbyshire Hill Community Centre- Wednesdays 11am -1pm
Sutton Food Bank - Sundays 1.30pm-3.30pm
St Matthews Pantry - Monday - Friday 8am -1pm
St Luke's Pantry - Monday mornings and Wednesday 9.30am - 6pm
The HOPE Centre - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 9.30 - 3.30pm
St Mark's/TANGO - Monday-Friday 10am - 4pm
Plan Bee Community Coffee shop - Monday-Friday - 9am-3pm
Among the items particularly needed currently are the following:
- pasta & rice, pasta sauces, packet pasta in sauce
- UHT milk
- tinned fruit, vegetables
- tinned fish
- rice pudding
- coffee, sugar, milk
- potatoes, instant mash
- fruit juice
A special Text to Donate initiative has also been launched to support World Food Day as part of the Feeding St Helens campaign.
The campaign will run from 13-26 October 2022 and residents can take part by texting FEEDSTHELENS to 70085 to donate £2 Texts cost £2 (plus the standard text message rate).
If you want to donate more you can Text FEEDSTHELENS plus the amount to 70085 (you will be charged the standard message rate). For example, to donate £20, text FEEDSTHELENS £20.
As part of its efforts to support United Nations World Food Day, The Cafe Laziz at Central Link Children's Centre in Peter Street will also be continuing to subsidise meals to asylum seekers, children and other residents in urgent need in the borough. The theme of World Food Day is 'Leave No one Behind'. Please note that all children visiting the café can eat free of charge. The café is open from 12noon to 2pm every Thursday.
The VCA have also produced a new online guide to community food and provision in St Helens, which includes full details of local food banks, pantries and other support and information.
Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage said: "The current Cost of Living rise has thrown into sharp focus just how many people are struggling to meet ends meet and World Food Day is therefore particularly timely this year as it allows us to highlight a very topical and vital issue.
"Many residents locally will be facing suffering financial hardship and challenges during the coming winter months so this is an opportunity for all of us to really make a difference and help those who need support the most in the borough, Please take this opportunity to show your support if you can."
Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Borough Council, said: "It is especially important that people are able to eat healthy food in the winter period ahead of us will and with food prices increasing it is vital that we all try and do what we can to support those most in need at this time.
"The initiatives around World Food Day give a great opportunity for all of us to step forward and take positive action and we would encourage people to donate before, on and after World Food Day itself. To care for each other in St Helens and also think about the many people around the world who go hungry.
"Your generosity will make a difference and help people cope better with the hardships they face in the months ahead."
To find out more about World Food Day go to https://www.fao.org/world-food-day/about/en