Cambridge Sustainable Food has distributed 113 tonnes of food during the pandemic since the beginning of MarchCambridge Sustainable Food/Facebook

Cambridge Sustainable Food (CSF) has collaborated with Cambridge City Council (CCC) and Cambridge City Foodbank (CCF) to distribute over 500 hampers to local families in need this Christmas.

The hampers consist of non-perishable “treats” provided by CCF, fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables donated from local producers and provided by CSF, and a gift organised by the Council.

CSF is “an innovative and growing partnership of public, private and community organisations in Cambridge and the surrounding villages [who] work with each other to promote a vibrant local food system all along the supply chain and in our community.” The organisation strives “for a fairer, more sustainable food system which supports the community and the environment.” 

Since the beginning of the UK lockdown in March, according to data from a statement given to Varsity by a CCC representative, CSF has delivered over 113 tonnes of food across 8 community food hubs during the pandemic, which had recorded 17,588 visits by the end of August.

CSF’s ‘Cambridge Holiday Lunch Programme’, which “provides free lunches during school holidays for families with children who ordinarily receive free school lunches”,  also saw almost 8,000 meals delivered directly to people’s doorsteps this summer.

The distribution of Christmas hampers, which has seen collaboration with local businesses CoFarm Cambridge, CoVeg and Cambridge Organic Food Company, as well as Nationwide Produce, comes as UNICEF donated £25,000 this week to the charity School Food Matters - marking the first time the organisation has helped feed children in the UK in its history.

In the statement from the Council representative, Sam Dyer, the Director and Coordinator of CSF, said: “We are not surprised by the news that UNICEF are now funding domestic food poverty projects for the first time in their 70-year history, in light of the awful national and local situation whereby parents do not have enough money to feed their children. This grant will go towards our crucial work in Cambridge, supporting children and families at risk of food insecurity during the Coronavirus pandemic.” 


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Fitzwilliam help deliver 200 free school meals

CSF also collaborated with Cambridge Dining Company (CDC), part of the Cambscuisine restaurant group, who have helped donate Christmas dinners and puddings to isolated older people in sheltered housing, alongside Fitzwilliam College - who in turn collaborated with CSF in October to provide 200 free school meals to families over the half-term period at the end of October.

A representative for CDC Events added: “We are delighted to be working alongside Cambridge Sustainable Food in delivering Christmas Day meals [...] after a very difficult year, with many elderly people not being able to see their families or have meals out we jumped at the opportunity to give some of the city’s residents a delicious, traditional Christmas dinner for them to enjoy.”

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