Maidstone Day Centre runs Food for Thought
Maidstone Day Centre’s own scheme - Food for Thought, has been running successfully since 2005 and predictably, demand for the service is still high. Nearly ten years ago we became aware that there were children in our community who were not getting enough to eat, who were going to bed hungry and arriving at school the next day having had no breakfast. We also came across elderly people who were finding it difficult to make ends meet but were too proud to ask for help; for some time we had been providing emergency food parcels for families in crisis, using donations of produce received at the Day Centre from local Harvest Festivals (picture on right from Brookfield Infant School) and from Christmas appeals. The problem was growing and something had to be done. Following advice from food share schemes in the UK, a sound framework of documentation and rules was set up and Maidstone Day Centre’s Food for Thought was born!
The rapid growth of the scheme was due not only to the rising numbers of those struggling to cope, but also to the generosity of local traders who agreed to donate their surplus food items to help those who would otherwise go hungry. The service is based at our day centre for homeless and vulnerable people and as well as supplying our own kitchens, Food For Thought currently provides for 12 school breakfast clubs in the area as well as hostels, care homes and day centres for elderly and disabled people. In a perfect example of what Big Society really means Food for Thought is relied on by social workers and organisations working with some of the most disadvantaged people in our society. The success of FFT is largely due to the fact that we are a small, independent charity with no red tape so help is immediate and each food parcel is carefully made up to suit the needs of the individuals.
Food for Thought - for those in real need
Maidstone Day Centre 01622 674064
Help when and where it is needed.
A family arrived in Maidstone a couple of days before last Christmas, fleeing domestic violence and although they had temporary accommodation, arrived with nothing, no food or money to go shopping and not even toothbrushes or nappies for the baby. Within a couple of hours, parcels had been provided to the family with plenty of basic foods including tea, coffee, cereals, bread, tinned meat and fish as well as fresh fruit and toiletries for everyone. Thanks to some very generous donations that week we were able to send some special Christmas food as well as crackers and presents. Benefits take a long time to set up, particularly at holiday time but we continued providing help until the family received their first benefit payments some weeks later. That’s what Food for Thought delivers, individual help when it is needed.
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