CAPTION: The YUM Project will run from a converted minibus funded by a government grant for faith groups

New Mobile Social Supermarket and Foodbank Launched in Torbay

Posted: 31st January, 2023

A new mobile food project has been launched in Torbay to help people affected by the cost-of-living crisis.

The minivan carries a range of food as well as household cleaning products and other items.

The YUM Project will run from a converted minibus, with a view to reaching people who might find it hard to access current food support schemes in a fixed location.

YUM stands for YOU+US= MORE and will include a Social Supermarket and Food-bank provision on the minibus.

It will operate five days a week across Torbay using church car parks and community centres.

The project is being run by Torbay United and Asend.SW CIC.

Torbay United is a collective of churches and other community organisations in Torbay which works to serve people in need in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.

Rev’d Nathan Kiyaga, from Torbay United, said “We are delighted to be working with our partners at Asend.SW CIC to deliver this vital provision for our community.

“Such services can only be achieved when people decide to work together for the common good.”

Kelly Harvey, from Asend.SW is co-leading the project with Rev’d Kiyaga.

She said: “The project has really evolved over the past 12 months with greater involvement from lots of different people, this has really been a collaborative project and this is the result of so many people’s contributions.

“Social supermarkets have been operating nationwide for a number of years with a great degree of success so we’ve not reinvented the wheel; we’ve just adapted existing models to fit the need of our local area.”

Torbay United was awarded £120,000 as part of the Faith New Deal pilot fund from the government announced last year.

The project will start off with 5 drop locations across Torbay, which will increase over time.

The money is being used to strengthen support for families in need as part of the food alliance in Torbay.

Some of the money is also being used to launch a new safety scheme for schools.

The projects are being done in partnership with Churches in Torbay, Torbay Council and charities like LiNX Youth Trust and members of the food alliance.

Giles Fearnley, Lay Chair of Torbay Church of England Deanery, said “After months of hard work by so many, it is great to be celebrating the launch of this much-needed mobile food provision.

“The Government’s grant is enabling Churches across Torbay to work together and mobilise volunteers to deliver very practical support for those who most need it in our community.”

Torbay Council helped to fund supplies for the project as part of its support for affordable food clubs throughout the bay.

Councillor Jackie Stockman, Torbay Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, said: “I’m so pleased we’ve been able to support this mobile food provision.

“Having enough money to put food on the table is one of the biggest concerns among households and this project will help to alleviate those worries.

“It’s unique and means that members of the public will find it easier to access help where and when they need it.

“During the pandemic, we strengthened our working relationships with faith communities across Torbay.

“This latest initiative is another example of how faith communities and Torbay Council are having deeper and more meaningful relationships resulting in better outcomes for our communities.”

Find out more about the work of Torbay United here, and Asend.SW CIC here.