Milestone Group pledge 20,000 meals to S6 Foodbank

The Milestone Group, owners of Sheffield’s first food hall, have been doing more than just serving up top notch food in 2019, using their sites including Cutlery Works, The Milestone, INC and their two Craft and Dough sites to raise much-needed funds for S6 Foodbank.

Since the turn of the year, they have already donated 6,600 meals and they’re not stopping there, vowing to donate another 20,000 meals to the foodbank by the end of this year.

Across the year, the group has been raising funds in a number of different ways, from a New Year’s Eve party, to a live music event, which raised £64.15 in the collection bucket and £277 worth of raffle tickets, as well as £2403 raised from their main meal donation scheme.

For every main meal purchased from either of their Craft and Dough sites and The Milestone, they donate a meal to the food bank. They work out a meal as 75p for every main meal purchased.

Owners Matt and Nina Bigland became involved with the S6 Foodbank after struggling to comprehend the sheer scale of the food bank usage in the UK. Trussell Trust figures state that food bank networks distributed 1.6 million three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, a 19% increase on the previous year, and it was figures like these that drove the husband and wife team to try and make a difference in their community.

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Director Matt Bigland said: “We have to help the community that we serve. We have a big influence on this area and we can use it for social causes. Our impact can shape people’s lives and children’s futures.

“People cannot afford to provide for their families due to the current UK benefits system. The austerity of Universal Credit means that children are going hungry. Five weeks is too long.”

Visitors to Cutlery Works may also be interested to know that there is a Donation Point for long life items inside the Neepsend Lane building.

Chris Hardy from S6 Foodbank said: “At the S6 Foodbank we see 7000 people per year in the S6 and surrounding areas. We give out 90 tonnes of food per year and have over 100 volunteers who weekly give time to the foodbank to help their community.

“As part of a larger Restore organisation we also offer job club, life skills, cafes, social enterprise as we see foodbank as the start of a journey back into community, our aim is to see a fullness in the person and their journey.

“Our need at the foodbank is great with a 20% increase year on year, we run on donations from the general public and also business like The Milestone who support local causes.”

They tell us they are always short of UHT milk, concentrate fruit juice and dignity products (shower gel, deodorant, toilet rolls etc.) and say that if people could bring just one item each, this would make a huge difference to people’s lives.

The Milestone Group’s Commercial Business Manager Beth Green said: “We visited the foodbank at the beginning of the year and were completely taken back by just how much these resources are needed and how much work people like Chris, Harry and Alison are putting in.

“The food and longlife items are just one part to the foodbank’s aim, they’re taking time to understand why this is happening, providing information and resources to get into work and ultimately nurturing people back to a better life, so they no longer rely on these services. We encourage as many people to help support the foodbank in any way that they can, as a little help really does go a long way’.

If you would like to help with the Milestone Group’s efforts, visit Cutlery Works during opening hours Wednesday – Sunday, leaving your donation in their permanent collection box, or donate via The Milestone Group app.

The foodbank will accept any in date tinned and packaged good, but useful items to donate include toiletries, washing up liquid, laundry tablets, pet food, long life fruit juice and toilet roll. For more info head over to Cutlery Works Facebook page.