A Christmas project in Bury St Edmunds to help tackle isolation and financial hardship is urging residents to refer people they know, who may benefit from support this year.

The Festive Food Project is a partnership programme with Abbeycroft and West Suffolk College, supported by Bury St. Edmunds Rickshaw and funded by Bury St. Edmunds Town Council.

The project, which has been running since 2020 aims to reduce isolation and help build community around the town.

It’s part of a wider initiative called Reducing Isolation with Food which delivers heat-at-home meals every few months throughout the year to individuals who live alone.

As well as providing a delicious meal prepared by students at West Suffolk College, project volunteers also offer vulnerable people the opportunity for a phone conversation and sometimes a much-needed doorstep chat, as well as providing options for other services and support in the town. Recipients must live in Bury St Edmunds (postcodes IP33 and IP32). The Town Council has also funded fifty Family Food Boxes for families in financial hardship and four hundred recipe packs of cost-effective Christmas recipes that will be available in various locations around the town.

At Christmas time the initiative is expanded, providing meals and hampers for anyone who will be spending Christmas Day alone or couples who are in financial hardship.

The next delivery will be on Friday 22 December.

Abbeycroft is appealing for help from residents to make sure they reach the people who do need the support.

Frank Carn-Pryor, Sports & Outdoor Activity Officer at Abbeycroft and the driving force behind the initiative said:

“We’re all systems go at the moment and thanks to the Town Council and other partners we’re going to be able to support even more people this year, so we want to make sure that we are reaching those who need the help most.”
“So if you know someone in your community who would benefit from a free meal and hamper – please make a referral via our website.”Hamper donations are also welcomed and advice on these can be found via the same link.”

Bury St Edmunds Town Council Clerk, Greg Luton said:

“The Town Council is very supportive of this project and is happy to both fund it and offer practical help on the ground. As well as the grant aspect, I know our Councillors love taking part and seeing Christmas meals getting to some of those who need them most.”

Find out more and make a referral here – https://www.abbeycroft.org.uk/reducing-isolation-with-food/

[Photos are of last year’s distribution day 2022 – credit Phil Morley Photography.]

people preparing xmas meals
lady driving rickshaw