Food on the go! Blackpool charity launches its mobile food service minibus

A Blackpool charity is hitting the road with its food parcel service after equipping a minibus as a mobile supplies van.

By Tim Gavell
Monday, 31st January 2022, 3:30 pm

His Provision is to start its mobile community pantry service from Thursday, February 10, at Grange Park with the van stopping at the Argosy Centre from 11am to 1pm.

The group has its headquarters on Central Drive where it runs a community cafe and has supported living accommodation. it has a second site at Raikes Parade.

It has seen demand for its food parcels service rocket over the past three months as more Blackpool families find it hard to make ends meet, since the £20 uplift on Universal Credit during the pandemic was withdrawn by Boris Johnson's government.

His Provision has converted a minibus to travel the area to help feed those in need. Pictured are directors Jackie Kemp, Mandy Hudson and Christine Phillips.

The group had a shop at the community centre @The Grange, but due to rising costs have decided to go mobile instead to serve the people in that area.

Christine Philips, a director at his Provision, said: "We are a charity-based, not for profit company with a range of services in Blackpool. We got the minibus two years ago with the help of lottery funding. But then the pandemic hit and we could not really use it as a minibus due to social distancing so we spoke to the lottery people and decided to convert it.

"It has been shelved out to carry food to the areas that need it most and we are delighted with the result. It has just been put through its MOT and we have put on stickers from all the companies and organisations which support us.

"Although we won't have the space inside the community centre at Grange any more, we will continue to serve the people there with the mobile service."

Mandy Hudson tests out the new shelving in the mobile larder

She said that for £5, families can get a food parcel, and the group tops it up with a further £15's worth of food including fresh vegetables and meats.

"We have seen demand rise in the past three months with more families finding it hard. We do between 120 and 150 food parcels a week now."

His Provision also offers skills training for clients with Better Opportunities Lancashire, and takes part in the Baby Rover service in Blackpool which provides ten clothing items, washed ironed and bagged, for any age between new-born and six years old as part of the Better Start scheme.

It will be restarting its Free Family Meal events at Central Drive this Easter, after having to put it on hold due to the pandemic.

The mobile service will replace His Provision's shop a the @The Grange community centre. It will visit the Argosy Centre at Grange Park on Thursdays between 11am and 1pm

The charity early this year received £1,000 from insurance group Ecclesiastical as one of just three Lancashire charities to get a share of its annual 12 Days of Giving Christmas campaign.

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