Buy a hamper, give one free: New food bank project launched at CRE Midlands

Dave HallByDave Hall

Buy a hamper, give one free: New food bank project launched at CRE Midlands

Buy a retail hamper from your church for £30 – and a meal hamper, comprising 15 fully-balanced meals, will be donated free to local families facing food insecurity. 

That’s the creative thinking behind Farming Food Bank, a radical new initiative launched at CRE Midlands by The Giving Stream Limited. 

‘We have the farm, butchers, chefs, equipment and expertise to produce food,’ explained Giving Stream’s Colin Kaye. ‘Churches have congregations and a local feeding programme or plans to launch one. This project links us all together – working as one.’

So how does it function?

Giving Stream install a walk-in freezer on church premises at the company’s cost, stocking it with two different products – a retail hamper, which can be bought and a free food hamper, used for donations only. Members of the church are encouraged to purchase retail hampers from the freezer at the end of services and mid-week meetings.

‘The retail hampers, if sold through a major retailer at a lesser quality, for example, containing preservatives, would retail at around £40,’ said Colin. ‘We retail the hampers at £30.’

Every time a retail hamper is sold a free meal hamper is donated to the church. The church can then use the free meal hampers to feed people who are hungry within the area it serves.

‘We have full control of stock levels and provide a card reader for ease of purchasing,’ said Colin. ‘We monitor sales and stock levels through the Food Parcel Automated System (FPAS) and replenish both the retail hamper and free meal hamper – doing it all in the name of Jesus.’

The retail hamper, for example, consists of meat products, steak burgers, sausages, meatballs and seasoned joints of meat. The hampers are complete and sealed, so no order making is required – ‘you just pick up the box, scan the card reader and go!’ The produce has been farmed to the highest welfare standard. Livestock is free-range, fed a natural diet, no routine antibiotics have been administered and full ingredient traceability is available with one simple scan.

The free hamper contains enough for 15 fully-balanced meals. As well as high-quality meat products straight off the farm, the hamper also contains vegetables and potatoes, enabling the person in need who receives the hamper to put full balanced meals on the table. It is also produced to the same high standard as the retail hamper, producing a high-quality gift. 

A video explaining the Farming Food Bank can be seen here.

‘We passionately believe that it is possible to do good and make money at the same time and if this was a common structure, the world would look a lot different to the way it does today,’ said Colin.

• Giving Stream Limited are on stand P61 at CRE Midlands 2020

Photo: The free hamper (pictured) contains enough for 15 fully-balanced meals

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Dave Hall

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