'Record demand for food donations' say Coventry community group - The Coventry Observer

'Record demand for food donations' say Coventry community group

Coventry Editorial 12th Feb, 2024   0

THE FOUNDER of a Coventry community group which has fed over 160,000 hungry Coventrians over the past three years has warned demand for its services is worse than ever.

Sky Blue Support celebrated its third anniversary last week.

During that time, it has provided hot meals and food parcels to those in need, but the last year has seen over 70,000 Coventrians seek help from them.

Founder Sunny Braitch said, during his time working on the project, weekly demand has shot from around 40 people to nearly 500.

This has meant the group, which used to operate on Saturdays, is now being run seven days a week.

Sunny told the Observer, with the cost-of-living crisis deepening, the service he created would be needed more than ever.

He added: “With the ever-growing numbers, our team has had to grow too, as what once started as me and a dog, has grown to a team of 28.

“Our Christmas event alone fed over 3000 at the Willenhall Social Club, and we were even out on Christmas morning dropping off to those who were unable to get a Christmas Dinner this year.

“With each feed that passes the numbers grow more and more from the street homeless to students to families that simply can not make their wages last to the end of the month.

“These families say it’s all to do with the massive cost-of-living crisis that is crippling some folks.”

Sunny has always loved helping people and, after initially volunteering at another charity, he and a group of friends set up Sky Blue Support in February 2021.

They now hold street feeds every Saturday, helping residents in Willenhall or Hillfields on alternating weekends.

They started off getting small food donations from local stores but after being put in touch with FareShare and Neighbourly, major chains like Tesco, KFC, Nandos, Sainsbury’s and Aldi started donating.

Other contributors include TikTok sensations Binley Mega Chippy which donated hot chips to give away weekly, and Coventry businesses allow Sky Blue Support to use anything from carrier bags to free electricity.

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