Food Stop prepares for closure

March 07, 2022

On 31st March 2022, the Food Stop based within Leicester’s Malcolm Arcade will close its doors after  6 years of supporting those in need. Importantly, those requiring support with food can still get help and should continue to contact the Leicester City Council Community Support Grant service.

As our role to coordinate emergency food provision in the city, on behalf of Leicester City Council, comes to an end and we prepare to hand over the reins to Reaching People, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate the achievements of the last 6 years.

First and foremost, we want to say a huge thank you to our amazing volunteers who over the last 6 years have been the friendly faces within the Food Stop, helping customers to select their food, sorting and rotating donations, cleaning, stacking shelves and making sure that everyone who came to us for help got what they needed. Since Action Homeless opened the Food Stop in 2016, our volunteers have contributed an astounding 24,720 hours of their time. Our brilliant volunteers have worked alongside our equally brilliant staff team, who have been committed and focused throughout and have ensured that the Food Stop has never missed a single day of service.

The Food Stop would simply not have worked without our kind and generous donors. From members of the public popping in with a bag of donations, to the large corporate organisations who have supported us with regular weekly deliveries, our donors ensured that the people and families that visited us went home with a great range of fresh, frozen and ambient products. The Food Stop led the way in providing good range of quality healthy choices, an approach which has been taken up by the community based food banks not only in Leicester, but is now trending nationally.

We estimate that since 2016, our Food Stop has given out 145,000 shopping bags full of food, equating to approximately 12,500 tonnes. We have served approximately 30,000 adults and 24,000 children. In real terms, this is thousands of people and families who did not have to go hungry and did not have to worry about where their next meal was coming from.

As well as providing food through our own Food Stop, Action Homeless have been responsible for coordinating Leicester’s Emergency Food Partnership. During our six years at the helm, we have seen the partnership grow and strengthen. We have brought an additional £160,000 of funding into the partnership, to help improvement of facilities, equipment, storage and logistics, resulting in increased food supplies. We have been proud to support a range of independent food banks across the city to expand and meet the unique needs of the communities which they serve. In addition to grants, we have also brought £2.6m of extra food into the city, which has been distributed throughout the emergency food partnership.

We know that news of the Food Stop closure may cause worry for people that have used the service previously. We’d like to reassure you that help, should you need it, is still available and that you should contact Leicester City Council’s Community Support Grant team as soon as you think that you need support. You can email your name and contact number to C19support@leicester.gov.uk to receive a call back between the hours of 9.30am – 4pm, Monday to Friday. More information about the help available, as well as the eligibility criteria, can be found here: https://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-community/benefits-and-support/community-support-grant/

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