Funding appeal by community pantry

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Fri 5th April 2024

A fundraising campaign has been started to help support a community pantry in Derbyshire.
Oscari is a scheme which is run from the Church Of Christ, Colledge Street in Riddings. It offers a multitude of help and support including a community pantry where residents in need can purchase food and other products at very discounted rates. The initiative also runs craft sessions and a foodbank.
A spokesman for the organisation said this week: “We are in desperate need of local businesses/ business people to sponsor and support us.
“We have had an unexpectedly large bill come in and desperately need help.
“The bill is for our subscription to FareShare Midlands. We need to raise the funds so we can continue to supply a first class food pantry to our wonderful community.
“If anyone knows of any local businesses or business people who would be willing to contribute, then please do get in touch and ask for Tracy.”
Meanwhile a Go Fund Me fundraising page has been set up online to further support Oscari.
A spokesman said on the page: “We are a community food pantry and food bank which covers the whole of Amber Valley, plus any other service users that need us.
“We saw a need in the community for low cost, high nutritional value food as the cost of living increases.
“Regularly we help around 60 families a week and this equates to almost 300 people fed each week.
“Oscari was formed in January 2016 set up initially as a craft group for the community to come along to.
“By 2018 we not only had a craft group but also set up a very successful community cafe and children’s youth group.
“We were holding regular quiz nights and the community engagement was incredible.”
The spokesman continued: “For three years in a row we opened up the building on Christmas day and cooked a full three course Christmas meal with presents for everyone on a pay as you can basis.
“We saw 50 families come and eat with us and also gave out over 200 presents to children who otherwise would have gone without.
“The pandemic hit Oscari hard and we had to ask our amazing volunteers to stay at home as it was for their safety and ours as well.
“During the pandemic there were three volunteers who kept Oscari running but we had to do things a different way.
“We cooked a massive 180,000 meals and delivered them to the residents of Amber valley totalling 3,000 miles during the first year of lockdown.
“January of 2022 Oscari reformed with a new team of volunteers, including two of the original members and have been rebuilding Oscari from the ground up.
“Through January until April the whole team has worked on fundraising, cleaning and clearing the building and making mew connections with people.”
The spokesman added: “We have successfully set up a community pantry, where shoppers pay an initial fee of £15 and the just £7.50 per week to shop thereafter. The food shop includes your cupboard staples, fresh fruit and vegetables, toiletries, sanitary wear, fridge and freezer foods.
“The total value of food that each shopper gets is anywhere between £50 and £100. Alongside this we have Citizens Advice visiting every Tuesday from 10am until 1pm.
“Of course at the heart of it all, we are here for the community and still have our food bank. This operates on an appointment basis (to give each customer privacy and dignity).
“All monies raised will go towards paying for our Fareshare subscription for the year which is a total of £8,008.”

Anyone wishing to donate to Oscari can go to here

To read more Spirit of Alfreton articles about Oscari, go to here

To keep up to date with Oscari go to here

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