Originally published at: https://cooperationbirmingham.org.uk/first-week-update/
As we complete our first week of operations we just wanted to give you all an update on our progress so far. It’s been an intense week with over 500 meals going out to the people of Birmingham, sixty plus people wanting to volunteer with us (and many of them already starting and doing a great job) and a steep learning curve for everyone involved in how to make this all happen!
We have surpassed our initial £5000 fundraising goal thanks to your generosity and lots of great promotions from The World Transformed, Rev Left Radio and Birmingham LGBT as well as lots of shares around social media.
We will continue to fundraise for costs as we scale up our operations. So far we have been spending money on delivery tupperware, bags, cleaning supplies, gloves, kitchen supplies and refunding our drivers petrol costs. We’ll also be buying a bigger pot to cook more food in (a truly ginormous pot, pics to come)!
In the future we hope to source more of our ingredients for free to keep things sustainable. Big thank you to The Real Junk Food Project for giving us lots of supplies so far.
This week things have ramped up for us very quickly, with Wednesday reaching 104 portions of food delivered. We weren’t quite anticipating such a quick uptake but we’ve had some wonderful feedback from families and struggling people we’ve managed to help out.
We recognise that there is a huge need for food aid in the city of Birmingham which is not being addressed adequately. There are a few other projects like ours, mutual aid groups, foodbanks and homeless organisations but they and we do not have the resources to support everyone who needs it.
This problem will only get worse as the crisis threatens most acutely the lives of poor and working class people in our city. Soon there is likely to be a recession worse even than the 2008 financial crash – a depression unlike anything we have seen since the 1930s.
Corona virus has highlighted inadequate food supply chains in the UK and if we can no longer import then we will suffer food shortages. Even whilst we have plenty there are many people suffering from food poverty. The need for food aid is urgent and the government and Birmingham City Council are not doing enough, not nearly enough.
The solidarity kitchen is also not enough and we want to get the conversation going about what we can do and what we should be demanding from our government. We don’t believe in bureaucratic criteria, vouchers or other gatekeeping activity around food provision. Anyone can get a meal from us, no questions asked.
That said, we do want to make sure we can provide more and for people who might not get access otherwise. We trust people to make a call on this and help us reach out to all the folks who might benefit.
If you still want to get involved and help us organise get in touch! If you have ideas about how we can expand including more kitchen space and resources please let us know. You can contact us at: email@example.com