It’s a sad sign of the times that 8.5 million people in the UK are estimated to be living in food poverty (https://www.trusselltrust.org)
The Melton Vineyard Church could not stand by when fellow members of the Melton Mowbray community were in crisis. So seven years ago, one member of the church began packing food bags on her kitchen table in response to the local need she had observed.
Fast forward to 2019 and Storehouse Melton is a thriving initiative based at The Fox Inn on Leicester Street.
Three days a week, Storehouse opens its doors to more than 250 regular visitors who drop in for a hot drink and snack, for some company and a friendly ear or to collect one of the 60-70 bags of nutritionally balanced food that are given out each week.
The Melton Vineyard is a Christian organisation who put their values and beliefs into practice by offering emotional and practical help. The 40 plus volunteers who work alongside them come from all backgrounds, some of them people of faith, some who are not.
Co-ordinator for Storehouse Melton, Phil Johnson, describes his role as “being responsible for the resource of the generosity of the people of Melton. We get a huge amount of food and some clothing as well – managing that so it goes to the people that genuinely need it.”
He sums up the current purpose of the organisation:
“The idea is that we are a short term, emergency support for people that find themselves in food poverty.”
The coming months will mark an exciting new phase for Storehouse as the redevelopment of the old Baptist Church on Nottingham Street will offer a bigger and more versatile space in the ‘Hope Centre’.
When asked about the future, Phil is upbeat.
“I’m very confident!” he says. “There’s lots of stuff we want to do.”
With more space, Storehouse plans to add events and practical workshops to the range of support it already provides. It’s hoped that this new phase will have a really meaningful impact on helping people move back into employment.
Phil describes Melton Mowbray as “a very generous town”. On Facebook, Storehouse has more than 750 followers who are always quick to respond to calls for help. Right now, they are asking for donations of warm winter clothing.
There are many ways you can help. Follow ‘storehouse melton’ on Facebook to stay up to date with their latest news and campaigns or look for the baskets in Morrisons and Sainsbury’s where you can leave your donations of food and toiletries. If you are able to make a financial donation, you can do so by clicking the ‘donate’ button on the website at: http://www.storehousemelton.org.uk
The new Hope Centre, on Nottingham Street, will offer many opportunities for volunteering and has an open morning at 10am on Saturday November 2nd. Drop in then to find out how you can get involved.