According to the Trussell Trust’s latest statistics, 823,145 three-day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis in the UK between April and September 2019. More than a third of these (301,653) went to children.
United Reformed Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) Maria JY Lee, who works with a CRCW project in Chelmsford, discusses the worrying trends she has identified in the community she works in:
“North Avenue is one of the most deprived areas in Chelmsford. People’s needs for basic foods and personal care items are high.
Our neighbourhoods in North Avenue are literally trapped in a cycle of deep poverty and the team and I were keen to find effective ways of continuing to support their needs.
After seeing grassroots initiative called the Little Free Pantry she set one up in Chelmsford.
The grassroots initiative is for neighbours helping neighbours. For example, if someone has an extra tin of soup, it can be left in the pantry and then someone who needs the soup can take it. It is simple; you do not need to bring a voucher and there is no time limit to using the pantry. You can access it whenever you want.
The project has been helping those in the community and continues to grow.