A food poverty charity that has supported Salford families through the coronavirus pandemic has hit a major milestone this month.
Humans MCR, which became a routine ‘food bank on wheels’ days before the UK was first put into lockdown, delivered its 60,000th meal to vulnerable families across Salford, Manchester and Bury a few weeks into March.
Founded by Rachel Parkinson and Lewey Hellewell in November 2019, the organisation replaced their plans for 2020 with a ‘Coronavirus Care campaign‘ to help residents of Greater Manchester struggling with food poverty as a result of the pandemic.
Rachel Parkinson, co-founder and managing director of Humans MCR, said: “Coronavirus hit and everyone needed food, so we’ve just been nonstop since then really.
“We were inundated with requests for volunteers which was wonderful, and we got loads of donations – everyone really banded together to help us.
“We’ve delivered over 60,000 meals since this time last year, and we’ve seen between 50 and 100 clients a day Monday to Friday.”
Although the 60,000th meal delivery was a proud moment for Humans MCR and their band of volunteers, Rachel has described the organisation’s demand as ‘bittersweet’.
She commented: “It’s going up and up and up now because people are starting to feel the effects of what’s happened in the last year.
“Everyone’s struggling, aren’t they?
“We would rather not be needed at all, but whilst there is that need there then we’re pleased that we’re doing something to make a real difference in Manchester and Salford.”
To celebrate their achievement and raise funds for the charity, the Humans MCR team are hosting a virtual raffle on Raffall this Easter.
For £2.50 a ticket, entrants will have the chance to win a giant Easter egg, Easter bunny and treats basket from Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier in Whitefield.
Rachel explained: “The chocolatier’s really nice, and we really need to buy a van.
“The hamper’s got £700 worth of chocolate in it!”
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At the same time as collecting donations and recruiting volunteer drivers, Rachel and her colleagues are also developing programmes such as ‘Cooking With Humans’ for local families to take part in as coronavirus restrictions ease.
She said: “Lewey’s got a background at managerial level with food, so we’re hoping to launch a new project which is going to be online cooking classes for our clients and anyone who’s not been a client but wants to learn a bit more about cooking on a budget.
“We’re going to have a bank of recipes at the end of it that anyone can access.
“We’re going to put them in our food parcels and they’re going to be downloadable from our website, so we can give people some ideas of how to make their items into healthy, nutritious meals for the family.”
To find out more about Humans MCR and the charity’s work in Salford, click here.