REfUSE have delivered more than 5,000 meals to the community since the start of lockdown.

The community interest company used a £5,000 grant from North East charity County Durham Community Foundation to transform their usual work.

Food for families

Nikki Dravers, from REfUSE said: “We helped a lady who is unable to leave the house to get food. She is single mum of-five and has asthma.

“She is struggling with her mental health so we delivered a food parcel to her. We will continue to do so every week. We also delivered five Easter eggs for the children.

“With thanks to your funding we are able to reach clients who would be going without food.

“We have now delivered grocery parcels to 1,688 people and distributed 5,011 cooked meals since the beginning of the isolation.

“The deliveries have been a chance to visit those who’ve been in need of other support too.

Working together

“We’ve been working with social services, other charities, probation, the NHS and the fire service. That way, we can meet the needs of those in crisis; from nappies, baby formula and craft materials to gas and electric cards and a listening ear.”

REfUSE started out with a mission to bring delicious meals to the community and end food waste.

The CIC opened a community café on the town’s high street, with a ‘pay as you feel’ policy. They also ran pop-up restaurant events, campaigns, school projects and a grocery box scheme in County Durham. All of the food they used would have gone to landfill.

The café has had to close since lockdown. All fundraising events have been cancelled, meaning a loss of income of more than £10,000, and a rise in food poverty.

North East charity

North East charity, County Durham Community Foundation, have helped 186 groups like REfUSE. Grants totalling £850,000 have supported projects across the region.

To support CDCF, click here.