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Charity launches community food club in Dagenham

The opening of the community food club at the Osborne Partnership premises

A charity has launched a community food club to support people struggling to pay their bills in Barking and Dagenham. 

The Osborne Partnership has teamed up with FareShare and the council to open one of three sites across the borough. 

Participants will have access to £20 worth of groceries each week in exchange for a £10 monthly subscription. Alternatively, they can pay £3.50 per visit. 

“They will get food for perhaps half the cost, which may still be a struggle for them, but it’s got to be better than to struggle and not eat,” explained Terry Waid, Chair of the Osborne Partnership. 

People will be given access to fresh food

“A lot of the food that FareShare receives is actually chilled like your meats, milks and cheeses or it’s fresh like fruit,” said Rachel Ledwith, from FareShare. 

“The community food club is really about trying to supplement peoples shopping to make sure they get access to healthy affordable foods.”

There will be many opportunities for people to engage with each other and socialise. 

“I know one of the people on the programme was particularly lonely and it gave her a reason to go out and actually do something,” said Kathy Jones, the Manager of the Osborne Partnership.

One such scheme is the ‘Seed to Plate’ project which allows people to take part in free gardening and cooking workshops.   

The club also gives people a chance to socialise

Barking and Dagenham Council are taking part in the project and will direct people towards a variety of services which can help them get back on their feet. 

“It doesn’t take a lot for someone to be going along okay one minute and then they might lose their job and before you know it they might have the threat of eviction,” said Service Manager to Community Solutions, Jill Gallagher.

She explained people have to be very brave to open up about their finances but a number of services, such as housing and health support, will be made available to them. 

Anyone who lives in Barking and Dagenham and is in need of support can access the community food club.

It is limited to one person per household and participants must only visit one site once a week. 

The Osborne Partnership will run their club on Thursdays between 11am and 1pm at the Osborne Centre, Osborne Square. People can contact them on 020 8592 5742 or by emailing cfc.op@lbdd.gov.uk 

Alternatively, another club takes place on Mondays between 12pm and 4pm at the William Bellamy Children’s Centre, Frizlands Lane. Residents can contact them on 020 8724 1924 or by emailing cfc.wbcc@lbdd.gov.uk

A third club  is on Wednesdays between 11am and 1pm in the Marks Gate Community Hub, Rose Lane. People can reach them on 020 8270 6091 or by emailing cfc.mg@lbdd.gov.uk




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