One of the local farms that supplies Gloucester Services with cheese is Godsell's at Church Farm in Leonard Stanley. Clare from GGT recently set up a visit to the farm for us to meet the team at Godsell’s Cheese and I was lucky enough to be part of that visit. This contact has now started a strong connection with APT and we are very happy to have a donation of cheese each week - a very generous 1kg - from Liz Godsell which is used in cooking weekly meals for the community. It makes such a big difference to the food we are able to provide, as much of the other food we receive is the tinned or dried variety like pasta.
The meals we cook each week amount to approximately 80, and an average number of families that we make up food bags for on a Monday is 32 adults and 27 children, including boxes that we deliver to people that are shielding or can't get to us. But we had our busiest Monday ever on 30th November, when we helped to feed 58 adults and 43 children.
Demand is rising because we are getting near to Christmas and families do not have the money to cover bills and all the food they need. The numbers above are the highest we have ever done. The people we are feeding range from single elderly people to young families, single Mums, right across the range of ages. We are seeing more families with the main earner having reduced hours or made redundant. This wasn’t something we saw before the pandemic or at least very rarely.
Along with the very generous cheese donation, Liz at Godsells has now offered us bottled milk as well which is amazing. We can also use that in the cooking and give some to people that we know are really struggling.
All Pulling Together (APT) has been established in Stonehouse for nearly 10 years but we still have people in the community that don’t know we exist. We were originally set up to support the people living on the Park Estate in Stonehouse but now we cover the whole of the GL10 area and beyond.
Although times have been difficult throughout the lockdowns, there is so much going on in the background to support our communities and our volunteers have been amazing doing everything they can to help. Thank you to everyone to their help and support."