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Food service helping to feed community

By James Vukmirovic | Cannock | News | Published:

A Staffordshire community food support service has helped hundreds of people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cannock Homeless Advise Support Empower (CHASE) Lighthouse has been helping provide the service for families in need across Hednesford and the wider area.

The service has run since December 2017, but has seen an increase in use of the service due to the coronavirus pandemic, with hundreds of homes accessing the service.

The service works through the provision of surplus food from local supermarkets, with those in need asked to bring a bag to fill up with the available products.

Hednesford Town Councillor Debbie Cartwright started the food service with friend Helen Allman and spoke about how people can access the food on offer.

She said: "We do a table at Pye Green Community centre every Sunday and outside the Salvation Army base every Monday and people are welcome to come up and take what they need.

"We started doing the tables because of the level of support we were getting from Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's and Jewsons Bakers in Hednesford.

The free service has helped hundreds of people during the pandemic

"I advertise it through our Facebook page, promoting the tables on any community page I can find, and we've had a really good response to be fair."

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Councillor Cartwright said the Sunday service would sometimes also include a roast dinner or a hot sandwich, with donations coming from the different supermarkets.

The 51-year-old from Hednesford also said the plan was to keep the service going following the pandemic due to a possible increase in people needing their help.

She also said being able to run this service had given her a sense of meaning after being forced to retire from work with fibroses and chronic fatigue syndrome.

She said: "It means a lot to be able to do this as I had to give up my job as a PA at Heartlands Hospital due to my own health.

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"It was a devastating blow to have to give up that job, but I thought to myself that I can't just sit around and do nothing.

"After getting in touch with CHASE Lighthouse with Helen, we started the food service and it's just blossomed from there and really brought me back to life."

To find out more about the food service, go to facebook.com/groups/1902646166430815/ or email chaselighthouse@gmail.com

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at james.vukmirovic@expressandstar.co.uk.

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