A local Bradford charity that started life in a local bus stop has been supporting its local community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by providing food to an average of 200 people each week thanks to food provided by local Tesco stores.
Better Eat Food Service CIC receives food parcels containing a variety of food products provided through Tesco’s Community Food Connection scheme, which is run in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare.
Run by a team of 18 volunteers, Better Eat Food Service CIC collects, sorts and distributes food from Tesco stores and other sources in the area to help reduce surplus food and provide supplies for local people who rely on this service as their weekly access to free food.
Set up originally in May 2020 by Christine Ellis-Malik, the voluntary service Better Eat Service CIC had started giving out donations from local bus stops, but now operates from Crag Road Methodist Church every Sunday. It is offered on a Pay As You Feel basis with some friendly neighbours offering their donations towards helping too.
Christine Ellis-Malik, founder of Better Eat Food Service CIC, said: “We’ve all been through extremely difficult times over the last year, which have shown how important it is to club together and help each other.
“There’s no criteria for who can receive food; we provide a service irrespective of race, religion, sex, gender, disability. We aim to benefit people in Bradford who have a need, vulnerability or disadvantage in society.
“On average we get around 30-50 people attending the outreach each week and we have a direct beneficiary list of almost 200 people which includes older people, single individuals, disabled people and families with children. If we receive midweek food donations, we call through our contact list and offer parcels of food throughout the week too.
“Our volunteers have helped people plan their meals and find other things to use, such as potatoes for Sunday roast dinner or cutting up some bananas that look brown on the outside but good inside and freezing for a smoothie.
“We’re hugely appreciative of Tesco’s food donations and Crag Road Methodist Church, as without them, Better Eat Services CIC wouldn’t have been possible.”
Tesco Community Food Connection links stores to local charities and community groups to ensure that no good food goes to waste.
Claire De Silva, head of communities at Tesco, said: “We know that the Community Food Connection scheme is making a real difference to groups like Better Eat by providing a little bit of extra help in the shape of surplus food from our stores.
“This is the biggest supermarket food redistribution scheme in the UK, and we know there are more groups that could receive food for the work they carry out, so I would encourage any group that thinks it could benefit to contact FareShare, so we can help even more good causes.”
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive at FareShare, said: “We are incredibly thankful to Tesco for its continued support of FareShare. We work with a number of charities and community groups providing essential support to their local communities, and receiving a steady stream of food helps them to feed those who need it most.”