New foodstore to fight food poverty in Knowle West

By Community Reporter David Amesbury

A new foodstore has opened in Knowle West to provide emergency food for people in the area struggling to feed themselves and their families. Based in the old butcher’s shop at Inns Court, the project was launched in July by the Mede Community and Learning Centre in partnership with the Matthew Tree Project and local churches. The Rev Alister Palmer, Chairperson of the Mede Management Committee and Vicar at Holy Cross and St. Barnabas Churches said: “We’ve been quite taken by the amazing response of the public to this. Particularly from Knowle Westers who have been generous to the project, not only by giving food but also those who wanted to offer their time as volunteers.”

As well as providing a nutritionally balanced diet for a week, the foodstore also tries to help clients resolve some of the problems causing their food poverty  – from debt and recent benefit cuts to addictions and breakdown of relationships. Maureen Cole, a Management Committee member of The Mede who helps run the store, said: “People come here by referral from different agencies, including Filwood Hope. The aim is to get them out of financial difficulties and to give advice.”

A foodstore user and single mother who did not wish to be named, told The Knowledge: “It’s brilliant. Staff are really nice and caring and there’s no judging. It’s a big relief, I have three children and I will be able to give them more than I could before…”

The Foodstore at 5 Marshall Walk is open Tuesdays from 10am-2pm. Donations – especially of tins, cereals, long life milk and juice – can be  dropped in to The Mede Centre or the Neighbourhood Partnership Office on Filwood Broadway. For more information call 0117 904 1220.