27 February 2023

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In Beswick, Manchester is a charity that Sukhbir Singh, one of the founder members, created to care and to share. It now helps thousands in dire need.

Feed My City offers a remarkable service to the community, providing freshly cooked vegetarian food and emergency food parcels to those in need. No questions, no judgment, no charge.

Sukhbir said:

I sometimes went to bed hungry as a child because my family didn’t have enough money. Growing up, I vowed to help families in similar situations. I moved to Manchester and saw a need in my neighbourhood, and with the helping hands of family, friends, and volunteers, we set up FMC food van to give food to anyone who needed it.”

 They served around 25,000 hot meals in the first 12 months, growing rapidly to 250,000 hot meals and 5,000 emergency food parcels within four years.

Sukhbir added:

This has only been possible through hundreds of kind-hearted volunteers, friends, and neighbours, some with similar experiences, all wanting to make a difference, and we will continue to serve as long as is possible. It is amazing what happens when we are kinder in our communities, and we should never underestimate the difference it makes.”

The commitment and spirit of this community is worth celebrating. One volunteer donated a building; others volunteered their time, professional expertise, and labour to refurbish the old building into a new Feed My City base with a well-kitted kitchen.

Volunteers contributed an estimated £30,000 of their services in kind and raised £20,000 for the cost of materials and equipment, and in just seven weeks, they converted the old building and opened Feed My City. Now the heart of Feed My City operates seven days a week.

Manchester Sikh Foundation PPL CHR POSTCODEFOCUS FMC 1222 (5)

All volunteers have a simple mantra:

“Be concerned with the needs of others. Be considerate, polite, courteous, and respectful to all…at all times.”

One special beacon of hope in the Feed My City community is a volunteer called Brett Allen. He lost his job due to illness and saw the food van in his local area in Salford. He chose to volunteer at the food van rather than just pitching for food in his time of need. He volunteered daily, sometimes even as a chef. He also made new connections which helped him get back into his career in sales and IT.

Brett said:

The teamwork during the lockdown, ensuring people have food and are well looked after, was a humbling experience. Being there for someone in need is my absolute highlight.” 

Volunteer Freddie Flintoff, a student at the University of Manchester, added:

Interventions like this are necessary because food is an essential part of everyone’s life, but tragically it’s not available to everyone.”

It is amazing what happens when we are kinder in our communities, and we should never underestimate the difference it makes.

Feed My City aims to prevent and relieve poverty, improve employment, health, and promote harmony in its community. An award of £23,000 was given to the charity through Postcode Neighbourhood Trust to further this vital work in their community, thanks to funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.