What’s been happening down at the depot? Since we signed the lease on the unit we’ve been working to get the building equipped. The floorspace isn’t huge, so we’re having a mezzanine installed in order to create some office space. And once that’s in, we’re going to need some office equipment.
On the ground floor, a freezer room and cold room are being built by the lovely people at Chilleco, with some racking thrown in for good measure. A tip from Annette at the Morecambe Bay Foodbank alerted us to the possibility of getting some pallet racking from a warehouse in Newcastle. Getting it from Newcastle to Lancaster has not been easy, to say the least, but hopefully the racking will soon be on its way. And not least we’ve managed to purchase a refrigerated van and it’s already made a couple of voyages! We’re finally in a position to advertise a couple of jobs – for a full-time driver and a full-time depot supervisor. Please tell anyone who would be good in these roles! Soon we’ll be advertising for a full-time project manager to drive the whole plan forward.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a meeting at the depot with people from food clubs, from gleaning, and from the city and county councils to talk over how the project should run. And at that meeting, people decided on a name for the project. We are now eggcup! There’s still a lot to be achieved before we can become operational – more equipment is needed, like cages and trolleys and weighing scales, and we’re hoping to get a helping hand with some of this. We need to install a clean room for portioning and packaging fresh food. And, of course, we need to work hard on getting suppliers on board. We know that there is no shortage of surplus food out there – the issue is always the same, getting the food from where it is to where it needs to be. As well as the paid staff, we’re going to need a team of volunteers, and we will be offering a useful programme of training to people who come on board. There’s much to do, but there is food out there and there are people who need food. It’s a challenge, but together we can do it.