Parkhill café joins forces with food bankPosted by: Ashley Birch
Veggie and Vegan café South Street Kitchen has become a drop-off point for nearby Duke Street food bank
South Street Kitchen’s owners have announced their their Park Hill cafe will now double up as a drop-off point for collections destined for Duke Street Food Bank
The café has teamed up with the food bank and Sheffield Tent City, to pick up the slack when the food bank is closed, allowing people to make donations of food, toiletries and supplies to the cafe Monday to Friday 9am – 4pm, and Saturday’s 10am – 5pm.
Duke Street Food Bank, in Park Hill Flats
At present, due to staff shortages Duke Street Food Bank can only open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 10am – 2pm.
South Street Kitchen’s owner Tim Jenkins said: “Food banks are a critical part of society. But people are having difficulty dropping food off because Duke Street is only open for a few hours a day.
“We’re happy to take the food in because we’re close by. We’re just really pleased to be able to help and if it makes it easier for people, and if it’s good news for the food bank – That’s brilliant!
“The more that happens around our area the better – It’s small steps!”
Anthony Cunningham from Sheffield Tent City, who are working closely with the café, told VIBE: “South Street Kitchen were involved with selling Tent City pins, which helps people get food, drinks and supplies, and I thought, why don’t we step it up a gear with the food bank?
“They [Duke Street Food Bank] are short staffed so we said, we’ll take the brunt of the drop-offs here. Having it here just makes sense, because it’s the community that needs to bring itself back together, in a massive way. Over the years I’ve seen the life taken out of it.”
“I want to plant that seed for community spirit again and South Street Kitchen have suggested doing food events, which we’ll link to wellbeing and healthy lifestyle associated with vegan and vegetarian food. For me, it’s about bringing people back together and trying to put a positive spin on it.”
As well as the collection point, South Street Kitchen and Sheffield Tent City are also planning a number of events and fundraisers, including a weekly wellbeing coffee morning, where mental health professionals with 27-years of experience will be on hand for people to chat to, without the stigma attached to going to the doctors.
They also plan to do a number of talks over the year, creating awareness on the issues around homelessness and food poverty with talks from a range of people, from frontline services and mental health professionals, to people from the streets who are still battling their addictions.
“Every time I get a person off the street I’m putting more pressure on the system” says Anthony: “because I’ve got to refer them to the food bank for them to sustain themselves until their benefits come through, so if I’m not backing up every other service, I’m just piling pressure on more and more people, and they’ll end up crumbling. That’s why I’m joining up with South Street Kitchen and Duke Street Food Bank.”
The first fundraiser will take place at South Street Kitchen on 14 March. If you want to be a part of the work going on up at Park Hill, get in touch with Anthony at Tent City or Tim at South Street Kitchen via Facebook.