A Sheffield charity is highlighting the issue of social exclusion, as part of the ‘End Hunger UK week of action’ campaign.
Parson Cross Community Initiative (PXI) is part of a coalition of over 40 charities, organisations, and academics, who are working together to end hunger and poverty in the UK.
However, PXI has been helping to feed people since 2010.
Nick Waterfield, 58, who runs the project said: “It shouldn’t be like this.
“We have a food bank serving around 70 family units each week, and we cook group meals, but we are not specifically a food poverty charity, it’s not just about food or feeding people, it’s about social inclusion.”
Nick expressed his gratitude for all donations, some of which come from nearby churches and supermarkets, but he added: “The poverty of feeling unwanted and unloved is perhaps worse than the poverty of feeling hungry.
“We want people to feel valued, that they matter, are included, wanted and loved.”
Volunteers and service users; many of whom are one in the same, recently enjoyed a meal of spinach curry and apple charlotte, made entirely from produce grown on the charity’s allotment.
“Again, it’s not just about growing food, it’s about building up the community.” said Nick.
Those attending a community meal today spoke about how the project helped them.
Anita Eldred, 55, said: “I was on reduced benefits for 14 months and after stoppages I was getting £40 a fortnight.
“I was told at one point that I would have to get rid of my cats because I could not afford to feed them, I was heartbroken.
“Since coming here I have set up a ‘Craft and Chat’ group which runs every Tuesday morning, I am also painting which is great as I’m not usually that steady with my hands.”
Jean Bradley, 60, who found the charity after fleeing a long-term abusive relationship, said: “I have used the foodbank a couple of times but I’m a giver not a taker.
“I am a tough little cookie. I’m okay during the daytime because I come here and get involved and I always have someone to talk to, this place for me is a lifeline.”
Daniel Heywood, 36, said: “I have been coming here for a year and I like to help out with sorting the donations for the food bank, I also attend the art group.”
If you want to get more involved in Parson Cross and the surrounding areas or you have something to donate (even just your time) please contact PXI Parson Cross Initiative Projects on 0114 281 5799.