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Written by:
Kathryn Martin-Chambers
03 Dec 2020

As part of a community effort to make sure people don’t go hungry in Cambridge, the Trinity Hall kitchens provided food for a local food bank based at Cambridge Regional College in King’s Hedges.

The pandemic has highlighted ongoing issues associated with poverty and such foodbanks provide nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people.

During the first UK lockdown, the catering team at Trinity Hall donated a great variety of useful products including tins of beans, crisps, flour, cereal, fruit juice, jam and biscuits. They are continuing to donate items to good causes including coffee beans to Joan’s Coffee Shop at the homelessness charity Emmaus Cambridge. Fiona Simon, Head of Conference and Catering Services at Trinity Hall, said: “We are pleased to be able to do what we can to support the local community in need during this pandemic.”

Delivery to the foodbank, photo by Allan Flavell

Delivery to the foodbank, photo by Allan Flavell

The hub at Cambridge Regional College was one of eight set up across the city by the Cambridge Food Poverty Alliance (CFPA). They are a collaborative network of organisations led by Cambridge Sustainable Food, who quickly mobilised in March 2020 to develop a structure of food support for vulnerable residents in Cambridge. As well as the community hubs, CFPA developed a phone and online signposting service and a delivery service for community meals and shopping bags.

Overall, the CFPA distributed 113 tonnes of surplus food. There were over 17,000 visits to the eight food hubs across the city and over 10,000 meals were delivered to those in need in Arbury, King’s Hedges, Chesterton, Trumpington, Coleridge and Romsey. Many of those using the food hubs said they would have found it difficult to feed their household without it.

Towards the end of term, in the run up to Christmas, students are also donating unwanted food to foodbanks – there is a collection point next to the Christmas tree in the marquee on Latham Lawn (main image). Trinity Hall Christian Union (THCU) has been encouraging College students to donate to local food banks by joining many other colleges across Cambridge and Oxford in a food donations drive called ‘BOGOF’ (Buy One Give One Free). THCU Co-President Dorothy says: “This drive is really exciting as it has a long-term goal in mind; to make this food donations competition a yearly Varsity competition, and to get students to start regularly thinking about buying an extra item of food to donate to food banks (which often have collection points in supermarket) when they go shopping. Trinity Hall has donated over 120 items – part of an amazing 10,000 donations across the two universities! A huge thank you to everyone that has got involved!”.