The Ash Vale Community Fridge and Ash Villages Food Parcels Project team have some great news this week! We will be receiving short dated items from the 2 local Co-ops on Saturdays going forward, saving even more good food from being wasted. This is in addition to the donations we already receive regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. What a great way to stop waste!
If you’d like to visit the Community Fridge and pick up some free food to save it from being wasted, it’s open 24/7 in our Community Shed at The Chapel, Wharf Rd, GU12 5AY. First come first served. (Remember to update the red folder so we can track how much food we are saving from the bin!) please only take what you can definitely use, so everyone can share and nothing is wasted.
Got more than you need? You can also donate your own surplus food, as long as it is sealed in its original packaging, and in date (or fresh from the allotment!) Please update the red folder with date & weight when you donate, so we can track how much food is saved from the bin.
Did you know? From June 2023-December 2023 the Community Fridge alone saved over 1000kg food from being wasted! Thank you to everyone who uses the fridge, and to all our amazing donors and volunteers.
Questions? Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Foodbank referrals: Please call our project manager to make a referral on 07730609446
This is wonderful news! The local Food Parcels team would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for us recently on the Co-op Communtiy page! Your votes have helped us to raise £1,171.07 so far, to help feed local families in crisis.
We were delighted to receive the amazing harvest donations from Wyke Primary Academy this week. Huge thanks to all the students, families and staff at the school. It was amazing to see all the donations arrive, and we could see that a lot of thought that went into what everyone donated.
We will be delivering food parcels to lots of local families this week with your donations in them. How wonderful that your generosity is helping people who live nearby. It’s a great way to be good neighbours and make sure that no one in our community goes hungry.
Best wishes and heartfelt thanks to you all from all of us at the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project.
Would you like to be more eco-friendly and help out the local Ash Villages Food Parcels Project at the same time? We urgently need your egg boxes please – the small ones that hold 6 eggs – for us to use with the food parcels. We buy our eggs in bulk to keep the cost down, as funding is VERY tight, but we can only do it if we have enough egg boxes to put them in. So please donate your SMALL egg boxes to us and we will use them again! You can drop them off in the community shed in the chapel car park any time 24/7 and we will be very grateful! Thank you!!
with much love to all our neighbours from the Ash Villages Food Parcels Team
We had a lovely enquiry today. A kind local resident keen to help the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project and wanting to know what items to give. He is not on social media, so needed a list that could be printed off to refer back to. I was delighted to oblige!
Here is the list of the weekly items we use for a standard food parcel, to give you an idea of what you might donate:
The tins we get through 30+ a week of each:
Tomatoes / Sweetcorn / Baked beans / Tuna
Meat (curry or hotdogs or ham or mince etc)
Sweet (fruit / rice pud / custard etc)
Other staples we include every week are:
Pasta (instant noodles are low cost to cook)
Rice (microwave rice is low cost to heat)
Pasta sauce (again low cost to heat)
Tea / coffee / Sugar
Uht milk & Cereal
Treats occasionally to bring a smile e.g. Biscuits / Jam / crisps
We also try to include fresh items to support healthier eating:
Potatoes / Onions / Carrots / Apples / Eggs
Any of the above that you might like to donate would be much appreciated thank you. You could pick one item and donate a few of the same, or pick a couple of things from the list, or even pick one of each and donate the necessary for a whole weekly parcel.
Alternatively you could choose to support with toiletries: & “Baby bank” items
Pets: We also like to be able to give out cat food and dog food if people are able to donate those so that families can afford to keep much loved pets.
Where to send things:
Donations can be dropped off at St Mary’s Church on Vale Rd, GU12 5JE whenever we are open. In the summer holidays Friday Cafe is open in August 10:00-13:00 and the church services are 10:30am-12:00.
You can also take donations directly to the team at the Chapel on Wharf Rd GU12 5AY, where we pack the parcels. The team is there packing parcels on Wednesdays and Fridays 8:45-9:45am or contact us to make other arrangements if these times don’t work for you. You can also choose to leave items in the community shed in our car park. Please clearly label the bag “Donation for the food parcels”.
Do you take donations of funds to? Yes please! If shopping is inconvenient we do also very gladly accept donations of funds. We can buy in bulk which keeps the cost down and makes your money go even further to feed more families.
You can donate by cash or cheque at St Marys’s church Ash Vale, which our Treasurer allocates to the restricted fund for food parcels – just write on the envelope or on the back of the cheque what the donation is for and Patrick ensures it goes in the righ account.
We can send you the details for a bank transfer or regular standing order if you prefer. This just requires you to put “Food Parcels” as the reference so again Patrick can assign the funds to the right project.
Did you know? This amazing local team of volunteers have been feeding people in need in our villages since April 2020!
How does St Mary’s fit in? St Mary’s is the local parish church in Ash Vale. As well as Sunday services, we love to serve our amazing community all week long! We host community groups – everything from toddlers to choir to Friday Community Cafe. Nearby, we work with the local Methodist Circuit to run the Chapel Project on Wharf Rd. We offer a Monday Chapel Cafe & warm hub there, host the Chapel Kids toddler group with lunch club, and provide summer picnics, monthly makes and other community, creativity and arts events. In these difficult times our most important project is the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project (and our Community Fridge opening Summer 2023). We work together with Carla Morson and a superb team of volunteers from both the church and the Ash Villages Support Circle, feeding 20-40 families every week.
What does the project do? The Ash Villages Food Parcels Project serves our neighbours in Ash, Ash Vale, Ash Green and Tongham. We deliver emergency food and toiletries to local people in crisis, and offer a listening ear. Twice a week teams go out in the evening to collect donations of bread and perishables from the supermarkets and others shop for the best value items to top this up, to make a balanced food parcel. We add these to the food items donated by local people and then pack the parcels the following morning, ready to go out to local people in need.
How do we help people? Our Food Parcels project helps local people in crisis, by providing emergency food and toiletries. This includes ‘baby bank’ items eg nappies. Referrals come from CAB, Wellbeing Team, Social Services, DWP and local churches too. As well as food, we offer a listening ear, and help to connect people to other sources of help, including Monday Chapel Cafe and local warm hubs. We are passionate about connecting with people to battle against the anxiety, isolation and mental strain that goes hand in hand with food poverty, not just providing a one-off parcel. The lovely thing is, that lots of people who receive a parcel later go on to volunteer or donate to help others once they are back on their feet. This community is truly amazing!
How can local people help? We can all work together to help our neighbours. Our volunteers are amazing at what they do and we can always use more hands on deck. The other issue is of course funding. Typically we spend around £400 per week on basic essentials for the parcels, to top up what comes in as donated items. Please help us to keep the food parcels filled and keep the Chapel doors open for a warm welcome. Here’s the donations link:
You can donate once or sign up for a regular gift. If 100 people could regularly give £4 a week we could cover the food costs! Will you join us?
You can also donate items for the parcels direct to us. We use the app called “Bank the food” to let our supporters know what is most needed each week. You can text or phone us and ask if you’d like more information: 07730609446
Thank you for your support. It makes all the difference to local people in need. Let’s make sure we can proudly say that in our lovely community, none of our neighbours go hungry.
Our local Food Parcels Project started during Covid and feeds local people every week. Search for Ash Vale in the App and you will see we are on the list for donations. We would be very glad of your support. We are of course grateful for all donations, but if you use the app, the advantage is that you can see what we need most urgently,
The last step is getting the donations to us. If you shop in the village you can pop items in the collecting basket at Ash Vale Co-op (tap your membership card while you’re in there and collect point for the community fund please!). Wherever you shop, you can buy items to donate and drop them off at St Mary’s Church on Vale Road or The Chapel on Wharf Road whenever they are open. We do the rest, packing parcels and making sure they reach our neighbours in need in our local community of Ash, Ash Vale, Ash Green and Tongham.
Thank you for your support, it makes a huge difference. We would especially like to thank everyone who supported the Christmas food parcels last week. Over 130 local people were brought some Christmas cheer with food, treats, gifts and winter warmers. It makes a big difference to local people. Thank you!
Alex, Carla and all the team.
PS – if you are struggling to afford enough to eat you can be referred to us by Citizens Advice / Job Centre / local churches / health visitor / social services / Guildford borough wellbeing team.
We have been offering support for the local community in a number of ways during lockdown. We had always collected for the Farnham Foodbank, but we have also been supporting local families in need as we have heard about needs and through the school. We have been amazed at the donations both of food and of money, and it has made a real difference.
We were also involved in coordinating a response in lockdowns and have helped with prescriptions, moving bins and a number of other needs for our neighbours.
We would love to look at this moving forward – watch this space!
Contact: Revd Claire email@example.com
St Peter’s Ash: Care and Share Shelf
The current pandemic has been a difficult time for many people. We all want to help. Outside St. Peter’s church we have a Care and Share shelf where anyone can take food that they need or leave something to help a neighbour.
If you would like to donate, tinned and packaged food, long life milk, tea and coffee are very popular. We try to put out enough to make a decent meal. It is topped up daily. Items can be placed on the shelf or left at the Rectory door. Contact: Barbara Rose 07761808727
Fun, food and friendship at St Mary’s and The Chapel
Aren’t we lucky that Revd Neil is amazing with food? Not only has he served socially distanced teas in the vicarage garden, and pop-up take-away pancakes from the shed when regulations allowed it, but now he has built a huge pizza oven in the vicarage garden, turning outdoor meetings into a festival of flavour!
Look out for kids in the kitchen too! During the winter, Neil teamed up with Anna and Charlie to do ‘St Mary’s junior bake-off’ & stories on Zoom with some of the kids. It was huge fun, messy at times, and they even had a dance-off while their creations were in the oven. The learning has definitely stuck—one of our 9yo girls remembered the recipe by heart and made an extra batch of cakes the next morning! (Ed.—Quick, put her name down on the church coffee rota!) Now that school is back, it’s over to Alex and the Chapel Kids toddler group who are busy planting up the Chapel garden with incredible edibles. Watch this space — they are literally growing their own fruit snacks!
Now it’s getting serious: Our very own vicar is running the Chapel Project Cooking School! Fareshare and Tesco (who give us a lot of our ‘on its last date’ fresh items for the local food parcels) have created a community chefs cooking school project. We jumped at the chance to join in and now have 15 families & community cooks signed up to zoom in and cook along, learning about nutrition, kitchen skills and producing some very scrummy dinners. We love the recipes Jamie Oliver has lined up for us, and it’s a lot of fun. Cooking along at home is fab, because everyone can see how to do things in their own kitchen. Ever wondered how to create a rainbow chilli, fry fabulous fishcakes or learn some nifty knife skills? We have been doing just that!
A huge thank you from all of us to Neil, and we can’t close without thanking Vicki Fox, an amazing local chef who has been instrumental in sourcing quality ingredients, making up doorstep delivery kits for those who need them, and building our confidence with variations and top tips on the Zoom sessions too.
Congratulations! Community Heroes Award for The Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group
We have some seriously amazing people involved in the local Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group. They are simply the best, and guess what? The Mayor of Guildford has recognised the team with a Community Heroes award! Congratulations go to everyone involved and especially Carla Morson who leads the group.
During lockdown, the team took on delivering care calls, prescriptions and shopping to people having to isolate or shield. St Mary’s also joined forces with the COVID Group to create a local Food Parcels Project, delivering food to those struggling under the financial impacts of the pandemic. The recipients are from all walks of life, and our delivery list is everchanging, as people’s circumstances change in the wake of the covid crisis. As we write this there are 32 families on the list this week. (If you’re struggling and need a food parcel you can call or text 07843 489796 or 07730 609446)
The COVID group is still going strong, helping local people and bringing the community together. It’s not too late to join in! Contact us to get involved.
We are always grateful for donations too., either store cupboard food and toiletries or donations via ‘give a little’ to help buy store cupboard items and toiletries: The donations link for online giving is: https://bit.ly/33LT1SAThank you for your support.