Square Food Foundation: The charity serving up free food for Bristol residents in need
When the government brought in the first social distancing measures two weeks ago, the team at Square Food Foundation knew they needed to do something radical. Square Food is normally a cooking school that teaches groups of teenagers and adults through free classes held at the centre in Knowle West, but now it’s a kitchen delivering almost 200 meals a day to a community in desperate need.
“These families and children face lots of challenges around food and security, and these are heightened with the current situation. There’s a massive need here for the children to remain healthy, and to take some of the burden off the families,” says operations manager Eloise Morton.
She adds: “With everyone being at home and getting under each other’s feet there’s likely to be an increase domestic abuse instances so we try to provide a bit of relief by getting rid of hungry tummies.”
Square Food are continuing to support Oasis Academy school where many of the pupils are eligible for free school meals and the breakfast club, which together provide them with two hot meals a day. The school is now being closed, Square Food is doing what it can to sustain the families. There can be a stigma associated with free handouts, so the school’s headteacher hand delivers the meals via minibus.
It’s a high level operation: the kitchen team of 11 is split into two, so that if one person falls ill there’s no risk of passing it to the other team and there’s vigorous disinfection procedures in place. Public donations for the project have reached an incredible £4,000 but for the team to reach their daily target of 500 meals, they’ll need £800 for each day.
“It’s really nice to have something to do in the current climate. The team is quite tired but our nature is positive – knowing we can make a different is what keeps us going,” adds Eloise.
How you can help: Making a donation is the best way to support Bristol’s most vulnerable families and ensure the survival of the charity.
• £7 could provide lunch for a family of five
• £15 could feed a child one meal a day for two weeks
• £30 could pay for a month of meals for one child
• £50 would provide a week’s worth of lunches for a family of five