We are the Church of England in Gloucestershire; please help us provide meals to the most vulnerable and foodbanks during this crisis. We are collaborating with and supporting The Long Table Stroud to alleviate food poverty during this crisis.
What we are doing?
Feeding the 5,000 aims to:
- Feed people in need over the duration of the Covid-19 crisis with delicious, locally cooked, nutritious food. Food that can supplement basic food parcels and other support.
- Support or, if necessary, create a series of community kitchens that will be able to continue to serve their communities after the crisis period ends. This means that the people who have been served delivered ready-meals are able, after the crisis has passed, to start to come together to eat together as a gathered community.
We are serving four core groups:
Vulnerable/at risk people: Some of these people will be supported by family and community. However, some will not have friends or family nearby to look after them. We know through our link with Gloucestershire County Council that there are around 9,000 identified people who are in the vulnerable/at risk category across our county.
Foodbanks: Foodbanks were not created to feed hundreds of people per day and to have lots of repeat customers in a 12-week period. Some foodbanks have changed to a delivery model and are serving this group, but this is going to become increasingly harder and the foodbanks’ clients are the most economically vulnerable in the community. Feeding the 5,000 intends to reduce the strain on this system by offering every customer of the foodbanks we are working with regular deliveries of pre-cooked food for the entire crisis period.
Over 70s: The Long Table is already delivering meals to those who are not economically or socially disadvantaged, but who will still struggle to get meals and food in these times. Some people in this category are able and willing to pay for their meals, which helps fund the provision of free meals to others.
NHS Staff: Providing meals to NHS staff across the county.
Who is doing this and how we are doing it
This project builds on the expertise and model developed by The Long Table in Stroud.
The Long Table is part of the Grace Network, a Christian social enterprise based in Brimscombe. They bring people together through food and run a bakery, kitchen, shop and a dining space where they provide home-cooked, nutritious meals.
In response to the coronavirus crisis they quickly adapted their services to cook and deliver delicious, healthy meals to those self-isolating and most in need in the Stroud district.
Being part of the Diocese of Gloucester , we (Bishop Rachel and the Gloucester Diocesan Board of Finance) joined forces so together we are able to provide this service across the diocese.
The Long Table currently work with local foodbanks, churches, schools and statutory agencies to find who needs and wants our meals. Those who can pay do, and those who can’t, receive them free.
We commission local, not-for-profit kitchens to cook meals for an agreed price per unit paid for by Feeding the 5,000. Menus, dietary constraints, labelling and branding are all provided by The Long Table.
Local voluntary groups and worshipping communities pick up the food from a local kitchen and deliver it to diners. We hope that as restrictions permit this delivery network will start to become a more permanent network of support for local people. Safeguarding fact sheet for recruitment of volunteers
Bishop Rachel and her team will lead on raising funds for the project, help build the network and look after the finances of the project.
We applaud the many local initiatives across our diocese to help those in need, and this is our contribution to support and complement this really important work.
Donating – and where the money goes
Help us provide this vital service during this crisis: click ‘Donate’ below, to donate online right now:
All money received by GDBF (Gloucester Diocesan Board of Finance) into this fund will be used to support the provision of food to people within the Diocese of Gloucester area who are isolated, vulnerable or otherwise in need during the living restrictions in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Should funds received not be fully spent out when the pandemic has ceased, funds will be used to alleviate food poverty more generally.
When and Where
Feeding the 5,000 is already operating across Gloucestershire.
- This collaboration is being led by the The Long Table, the Bishop of Gloucester and The Gloucester Diocesan Board of Finance
To provide meals across the county we are already partnering with:
- The Sober Parrot (The Nelson Trust)
- The Clean Plate (The Nelson Trust)
- The Wiggly Worm Charity
- Roots Cafe
- The Royal Agricultural University
- Rendcombe College
- Kings School
- Stroud Brewery
- Thomas Franks Ltd
We have freezers in hospitals across the county to feed our amazing hard working NHS staff:
- Cheltenham General Hospital
- Gloucester Royal Hospital
- Wotton Lawn Hospital- Gloucester
- Charlton Lane Hospital- Cheltenham
- Stroud General Hospital
- Vale Community Hospital- Dursley,
- North Cotswold Hospital – Moreton-in-Marsh
- Cirencester Hospital
- Lydney and District Hospital
- Dilke Memorial Hospital – Cinderford
- Tewkesbury Community Hospital
For more information about the Long Table and theri amazing meals visit here
We hope you will be able to join us in this exciting project. If you are part of a local church or voluntary group that can help deliver food please contact Will Mansell.
How to buy meals
If you would like to buy meals please contact the number or emails addresses below, depending on where you live. More detail scan be found on the flyers under each area.
£25 will provide seven meals for someone delivered to their door. Please give to support this vital service.