Wellhouse Housing Association (WHA) has unveiled details of its ongoing work to alleviate food poverty in Glasgow.
The social landlord has set up two initiatives as part of its work to ensure all tenants have access to affordable and nutritious food.
WHA is working with local charity East End Flat Pack Meals to offer healthy food packs and cooking lessons to tenants, as well as low-income families and vulnerable people in the local area.
The not-for-profit food project provides affordable, nutritious ingredients and recipes; and the organisation is on a mission to combat food poverty and help locals on a journey to a healthier lifestyle.
The partnership between the organisations will ensure food supplies are easily obtained by those who need them most, by creating a designated collection point in WHA’s community café located in The Hub in Wellhouse.
The community café has recently benefitted from a significant investment to upgrade the facilities and it will be used by the charity to deliver their food education classes following the pandemic.
The workshops which will be free to attend, are a crucial part of the charity’s objective to help local people learn how to make delicious, healthy meals, while remaining within their budget.
East End Flat Pack Meals is run by Jackie Bole and Beth Parker, a mother and daughter duo who both grew up in the East End.
Jacki Bole said: “A big part of what we do is set people up with the skills and motivation to make delicious and healthy meals which they and their families can enjoy.
“Working with WHA as our distribution base and to host our cooking workshops will not only help develop know-how but will also be key in creating community spirit and support once lockdown is lifted.”
WHA has also allocated an initial sum of £500 to fund 200 visits to The Pantry – two not-for-profit community membership shops that provides high quality, low-cost food to those in the area.
Tenants are also able to benefit from free bus travel to The Pantry in either Ruchazie or Parkhead.
The Pantry is open to everyone, does not require a referral, and offers locals an alternative to foodbanks by providing a variety of food to pick from, including fresh and local produce, as well recipe cards for healthy meals.
For a membership of £2.50, people receive £15 worth of food of their choice in return.
WHA is committed to covering the cost of membership and an initial visit for tenants requiring this support and on-going help can be provided if necessary.
Councillor Mandy Morgan, chair of The Scottish Pantry Network, said: “This is a creative, innovative strengths-based approach which is designed to divert good food from going to landfill while at the same time offering an engaging and tailored ‘shopping experience’.
“It provides a dignified choice for both the individual and local community. Unlike other models of food distribution, a pantry will open and function like a normal shop.
“In addition, and critically, access to a pantry will not be means tested and does not require anyone to explain their circumstance; memberships are open to everyone in the community.
“We want to ensure the pantries are accessible and inclusive so we have teamed up with community transport Glasgow to provide a free bus home delivery service for vulnerable residents.”
The partnership with East End Flat Pack Meals and the provision of funding for visits to The Pantry are further steps towards WHA’s aim that healthy food and meals should be accessible and affordable to all, without judgement or means testing.
WHA chair Darron Brown said: “This has been an exceptionally challenging time for everyone, and we have seen foodbanks struggling to keep up with demand and many families finding it hard to make ends meet.
“Food poverty is simply unacceptable in this day and age and at WHA we fully support the work of East End Flat Pack Meals and The Pantry.
“We want to help to eradicate food poverty and these initiatives are the first stage of our work to make sure that no one should have to go without the basics to look after themselves and their family.”
Image: Inside Wellhouse Housing Association’s community cafe
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