3 March 2020
The Longford Centre is a short stay homeless hostel accommodating up to 44 people at any one time. The hostel provides food and a warm place to live for men, woman, couples and occasionally their animals for between six and eight weeks and during that time, the charity works with clients to help rehouse them and find a private sector property.
Gaynor Howe, who manages the centre, says they have been receiving food from FareShare Greater Manchester for two years. “If we didn’t have FareShare, we wouldn’t be able to provide two meals a day,” she explains. “Whilst food is extremely important to what we do, we only have a small budget so our membership with FareShare is really important in helping us to provide the amount and diverse range of meals to our clients.
“When clients come through the door, they’re not in a good place. Their world has fallen apart, they’re frightened and feeling a range of emotions – so us being able to provide a warm welcome and a hot meal helps massively.
“But after of staying with us you start to notice a difference. Once they’ve settled and are eating properly they can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of our clients say that the food and warm approach of our staff has been a source of comfort.”
Every FareShare delivery to the Longford Centre will include fresh meat, fruit and veg, alongside additional extras such as cooking sauces, pies and spreads. “The food we get from FareShare Greater Manchester is quite varied, so we’ve made a range of meals including curries, roast dinners and chilli con carne,” Gaynor says.
But the nature of surplus food means that no two FareShare deliveries are the same, so chefs at the Longford Centre sometimes have to be creative with the ingredients they get.
Gaynor adds: “We vary our menu each week depending on what we receive from FareShare. If we get items we’re not sure how to use, we’ll search online for recipes. One of our most popular dishes is curry.”
“When clients come through the door, they’re not in a good place. Their world has fallen apart, they’re frightened and feeling a range of emotions – so us being able to provide a warm welcome and a hot meal helps massively.”