Since starting in 2011, Food Parcels, a Salford Food Bank, has been helping those in food poverty, providing fresh food parcels.
In collaboration with Red Cross who provides destitute asylum seekers with a £5 bus fare, the Food Bank organisation has fed thousands with the help of food providers, Fareshare, and Tesco Food Cloud.
Founder Yvonne Simms, 71, remains the only original member since its creation.
She says: “I’ve done this since 2011 when we started and I started it with other members of other churches.
“I’ve had a double mastectomy, five operations, and a stomach operation in that time, but during that time both my husband and I have just kept going”.
Yvonne stated one of her main inspirations for the Food Bank, Food Parcels, is the unfair treatment of asylum seekers.
Stating: “The system does not take into account some people are illiterate, don’t know the language or have the social skills to be able to deal with the way they have to work to get benefits”.
Since starting, they have not only provided food parcels but have opened an allotment in 2019. Yvonne says: “We are now growing food and are bringing it here. Although we only got it in November last year so I’ve been trying to get it up to standard.”
The allotment currently holds eight fruit trees alongside 16 chickens which produce eggs to be given unto those in need.
However, since the start of COVID, there has been a dramatic demand for food and necessities.
Yvonne says “We’ve gone up 2.75 adults, 2.6 children in numbers, and for us working on £200 a month, it’s quite a lot”.
She continued: “Covid has been really difficult because we have gone up three times what we would normally give out but because of the food that we’ve been given by Fareshare and the grants we’ve managed to get, we’ve been able to keep going.
“But obviously, we are now in the second wave and I don’t know what’s going to happen this time”.
Peter Simms, Yvonne’s son, has had his own experience with poverty overseas but through his hardships, has applied what he learned into food parcels and Food Banks.
He commented: “having been homeless in my early life, I came back to England as I was in America for 10 years and my mum Yvonne had set up the food parcels. I have worked with communities around the world looking at food security and self-sustaining projects so it felt natural to use those skills here”.
The mother and son duo, Yvonne and Peter, look forward to the future of food parcels. Yvonne says: “my dream would be to have a community hub where people can get anything they need for their home. We want it as an example, a place where anyone can come, any race, creed or religion”.
If you know anyone in Salford or Greater Manchester who needs assistance from Food Parcels or would like to get in touch with food parcels please visit their website at http://salfordfoodparcels.org/ or their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/salfordfoodparcels. If you would like to contact Yvonne personally, call her on 07815 089568 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to find out what Salford Food Bank’s have been doing during the Covid-19 Pandemic