Café gives food bank supplies to the poor

The Oxford Times: Mandy Ayres, left, and Debbie Santos at the Barton Neighbourhood Centre café, Eatwells Buy this photo » Mandy Ayres, left, and Debbie Santos at the Barton Neighbourhood Centre café, Eatwells

A COMMUNITY café is now dishing out food bank supplies and recipe ideas to estate residents in need.

The Eatwells café at Barton Neighbourhood Centre started handing out the Oxford Food Bank donations last month.

It comes as the restaurant was awarded five stars for hygiene after an inspection by Oxford City Council.

The food bank supplies are delivered to the Underhill Circus centre every Monday and given out to those who need them most throughout the week.

Kitchen supervisor Mandy Ayres said: “We are now a distribution centre.

“We give it out to young mums and we do the OAP clubs on Mondays and Wednesdays too. We also give to people who have problems with benefits.”

Mrs Ayres said the food was given out alongside recipe suggestions for meals including soups and stews.

She said so far the food bank service was being well received in Barton, adding: “It is going really well.”

The cook also said the café, which offers work experience to school students and people with disabilities, was becoming a bigger part of the community.

She said: “People can come in and have a cup of tea or have a really cheap meal.”

Barton Community Association secretary Sue Holden said the food bank donations could be sent out via the café to those the centre knew needed the help.

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She said: “We give it to the people who we know will benefit from it.”

But she said while the food would not be cooked at the café , residents would be given advice on what to do with it, adding: “We give it to them as it is. We are trying to give them ideas of what they do with it.”

Speaking about the five-star hygiene rating which the café retained last month, Mrs Holden added: “It just proves that standards are kept to a very high level.”

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