Cyrenians has launched their summer appeal ‘Food That Goes Further’, appealing to individuals to pledge regular support to their community food projects to ‘help make sure that no one goes hungry’.
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Cyrenians is a Scottish homelessness charity, tackling the causes and consequences of homelessness. A large part of their work includes their community food projects – including community pantries, offering dignified access to low-cost, high-quality food, and cooking skills classes.
“No one should have to go hungry. Too often, people struggling to make ends meet are told what to eat, when, and who with – often, that means people just go without. This isn’t good enough." Joe Gair, Cook School volunteer
Joe Gair, Cook School volunteer, said: “No one should have to go hungry. Too often, people struggling to make ends meet are told what to eat, when, and who with – often, that means people just go without. This isn’t good enough.
“Food insecurity comes as a result of living in poverty, and having to make impossible choices, like paying for food or paying your rent. It isolates you from the wider community and has a real impact on your mental and physical wellbeing.
“At our Good Food projects, anyone can come, which makes getting food as well as support so much easier. From money issues to housing, once you’ve built up a relationship with someone, it’s much easier to talk about it and find out how to get help.”
Cyrenians’ food projects include a diverse range of social enterprises – from Cyrenians Farm in Kirknewton, and Arnotdale House and Café in Falkirk, to their Community Cook School and Fareshare depot in Leith. Providing value to local communities, and creating employment and training opportunities, the profits raised from these projects are then reinvested back into Cyrenians’ work tackling homelessness.
Sue O’Neill-Berest, Food Education Manager, said: “Communities cannot be held responsible for food insecurity in Scotland, but community food projects are well-placed to respond to crises, and to promote dignity at a local level. That’s why our food projects make sure that people can access low-cost, high quality food, and with dignity: open to all, and where people are able to choose what they eat, and when.
Ewan Aitken CEO said: “At Cyrenians, we know that the social connections that are creating around making and sharing meals can be just as important as the meals themselves. Building strong community relationships and making sure people can get support they need way before they reach crisis point is a key part of our work tackling homelessness.
“In addition to that, we’re creating employment and job opportunities for communities, and helping to increase the availability of good food to local communities – working with local businesses and producers to create sustainable food networks that are good for people and good for the planet.
“Our community food projects are needed more than ever. We need to build on these projects – but we can’t do that alone. If you can, please support our #FoodThatGoesFurther appeal and help make sure that no one goes hungry”