A fruit and vegetable wholesaler has joined forces with a produce-growing charity to feed the homeless and vulnerable this winter.
Lower Earley-based C.A Belcher & Son and Winnersh-based Freely Fruity are aiming to supply fresh produce for those in need.
Since April, Freely Fruity has donated hundreds of kilos of fresh organic produce to different organisations and foodbanks in the area.
And C.A Belcher & Son has expanded its fresh fruit, vegetables and provisions services since the pandemic, including launching a Saturday farmers’ market from its Danehill depot.
On Saturday, December 19, it packed and sent food to the New Beginnings charity at the Queens Arms in Reading.
The food was then cooked into a Christmas meal for the homeless.
Freely Fruity’s Ryan Simpson said: “It’s been amazing for a local charity to collaborate with a local business to provide so many people with a hot meal or a vegetable box in such testing times.
“Together we are feeding around 700 to 800 people over the festive period.
“We hope to continue our partnership with C.A Belcher & Son in the future and we can help the vulnerable people and reduce food waste as we do it”.
New Beginnings focuses on preventing and relieving poverty and financial hardship for people in trhe greater Reading area.
The charity has transformed the former pub in Great Knollys Street. It offers a number of services, including the All Night Café, a night shelter for the homeless and a community fridge
for distributing free food for those in need.
C.A Belcher & Son and Freely Fruity also supplied Brighter Futures for Children a further 150 Christmas-themed vegetable boxes on Tuesday, December 22, to ensure families have essentials to cook Christmas dinner.
C.A Belcher & Son’s director, Matthew Belcher said he is delighted to partner with Freely Fruity this Christmas to give back and feed those most in need.