Fast (tinned) food facts

Did you know that you can get your five a day from canned food? In our final look at the work of charity initiative iCan, Callum McGlade presents some more amazing facts about food in a tin:

iCan is a scheme from FareShare North East whose organisers believe that if each person in Newcastle upon Tyne donated a single can of food, food poverty in the city could be eliminated.

JesmondLocal’s Kerstin Vogel and Linda Guma met youth workers Vicky Smith and Brian Young of the YMCA in Byker to find out about their involvement with FareShare.

Every Wednesday morning FareShare delivers 15 to 20 bags of non-perishable food and beverages to the YMCA Byker Neighbourhood Youth Project. The co-operation began more than three years ago, and a typical bag might consist of soups, cooking sauces, organic beans, a loaf of bread, a box of Bran Flakes cereal, ready meals for the children, and juices, says Vicky Smith.

Most recipients come frequently. For some people, this service is a form of extra support on top of their welfare benefits. Others rely on this service and “would otherwise not be able to eat,” says Smith. FareShare has had an impact on one person in particular, says Smith: “One woman comes to us every week and is dependent on the food bags. Thanks to FareShare, she is better able to deal with her economic situation.”

Smith and Young told JesmondLocal that the YMCA is thankful for every food item it receives. There is no such thing as “too much” food and the YMCA hopes to gain a larger supply of food in the future.