A grassroots organisation supporting Bedford’s homeless community is urgently seeking funding to continue their work.
Dine with Us on the Streets – Cherrie’s Legacy relies on an army of volunteers to deliver their projects, but with no regular financial support, they are in danger of having to close the operation.
They are hoping for donations to reach £16,000, in order to help fund a manager to run their Community Larder.
They are also fundraising to cover £7,500 rent and £5,200 for their annual electricity bill.
“We feed the homeless every Saturday evening and the Dine With Us Community Larder currently collects excess food from 34 providers across Bedford and MK,” explained volunteer, Becky Dawson.
“Through safeguarding officers’ referrals we provide food care packages to families and also provide breakfast to children who don’t get breakfast before school.”
The organisation operates out of a unit on Greyfriars, owned by Bedford Borough Council. They were given six months’ rent-free, but now need to cover the £7,500 annual rent bill.
“We open on a Thursday, at the unit, to give food to those on means tested benefits and the homeless, but we have, this year, opened up the criteria to allow others to access our food such as the working poor or those interested in zero waste,” said Becky.
“We also operate a social supermarket and fruit and veg boxes at vastly reduced prices.”
Storing donated food comes at a price. “Our electricity bill is around £100 a week,” explained Becky.
Dine with us on the Streets is among a number of organisations and charities working with Bedford’s homeless.
Donations can be made to their JustGiving page.