Many people today are living in what has been termed “food poverty”, while at the same time we are seeing mounting concern about food waste. The Port Grocery, a Community Food Club based at Trinity, seeks to address these two problems. The Port Grocery is open for anyone in the community to join. There are no eligibility criteria: anyone can benefit from the high quality, low cost food it provides. It was agreed from an early stage that the project did not want to create a “stigma” for people using the grocery; so it is not a means tested programme, but open to all regardless of their income. The regular income from people who can help subsidise those in need also helps give the project financial stability.
In practical terms, people pay £4 a week and receive around £16 – 20 worth of food, which includes a range of frozen/ fresh meat, dried and canned food, plus fresh fruit and vegetables, along with other items.
Every Wednesday lunch time Trinity hosts the “Wednesday Welcome”, when free tea/ coffee and cakes are available. This project has been running for a number of months and regularly sees around 200 people coming through the doors. People are given a welcome together with the food, and are able to chat with others around tables. Many agencies in Ellesmere Port now use the sessions to meet others and encourage individuals who are in need of social contact.
A local Health and Wellbeing co-ordinator working with the NHS recently emailed and said: “Trinity coffee and cake mornings have really helped support many of my patients who are welcomed into the cafe every week. Some of my patients only manage to get out to these mornings and this is their only social connection – sometimes their only connection to the outside world at all. It has been integral to the recovery of some of my patients, and has been a great encouragement. Having the option of a free coffee and cake slice gives some a lovely treat and others, at times, the only bit of food they may eat that day. A fantastic way for everyone to come together with no ‘criteria’, which is rare: there is no end game in sight or pressure on people other than to come together in the community, which is magical.”
Come and visit us and see for yourself what is going on at Trinity. At the very least you’ll get a free coffee and cake!
– Nigel Mountford, Mission Development Officer