Foodbank organizers in Hartlepool have praised allotment holders who were asked to pledge some veg after an amazing response.
Growers across the town donated an impressive 55 large boxes of produce bursting with fresh vegetables.
They answered an appeal to donate surplus produce to Hartlepool Foodbank by supporting Hartlepool Borough Council’s Big Christmas Dinner Challenge.
It was also run in partnership with the Allotments’ Tenants Focus Group and the town’s Waverley Terrace Community Allotment.
Kate Ainger, Hartlepool Borough Council environmental projects officer, said:
“We invited allotment holders to ‘pledge some veg’ and the response was amazing.
“We would like to thank everyone who contributed for their invaluable support.
“It is great to know that the Big Christmas Dinner Challenge is really going to make a difference to a significant number of families.”
Empty boxes were donated by Fruit Fayre in Oxford Road and were filled with vegetables including potatoes, onions, carrots, leeks, beetroot, swede, sprouts, rosemary, cabbage and marrows before being delivered to the foodbank for distribution.
Each box also included an information pack with suggested recipes and advice from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign on how to make the most of the produce.
Al Wales, Hartlepool Foodbank co-ordinator, said:
“There was a fantastic response from allotment holders and we would like to pass on our heartfelt thanks. It was brilliant to be able to give out fresh vegetables.
“We gave some of the boxes to people who sought help directly from us and others were distributed amongst our partner charities.”
Allotment sites which contributed to the appeal were Nicholson Field, Thornhill, Throston, Chester Road, Briarfields, Burn Valley, Woodcroft, Summerhill, Haswell, Rossmere and Waverley Terrace.
Staff and volunteers at the Waverley Terrace Community Allotment, which offers opportunities to children and adults with physical and learning disabilities, and people with mental health problems, also helped to collect, sort and pack the donations.
Since January, Hartlepool Food Bank, part of the Trussell Trust foodbank network, has fed 4,357 people since it was started. This month alone it has supported 290 people, 89 of whom were children.
Source – Hartlepool Mail, 22 Dec 2014
A racist thug has been fined for damaging a mosque after a far-right rally in Sunderland.
Connor McIntosh launched the attack on the Jami Masjid mosque in Chester Road, Sunderland, drunkenly kicking a drainpipe.
The 19-year-old had been at a demo over proposals for a new mosque in Millfield on March 30.
> What I dont get is why they were at the Jami Masjid mosque, and not the site of the proposed new mosque, some distance away ?
Also, I’m told that the new mosque is for a seperate strand of Islam than that followed at Jami Masjid – rather like protesting about a new Baptist chapel outside a Roman Catholic church.
Still, that’s the EDL for you – if you thought too deeply (or at all…) about such matters, they’d probably deny you membership on the grounds of being dangerously intellectual. EDL = Easily Distracted Loons.
He was arrested after being captured on CCTV lashing out at the building.
Sunderland magistrates were told how he ranted about Islam and bragged about being a member of the EDL during his interview with police.
He pleaded guilty to causing racially-aggravated criminal damage.
Penny Bottomley, prosecuting, said McIntosh, an unemployed scrapman, was so drunk at first that he did not know why he had been arrested.
She said: “The defendant, when he was interviewed, was asked why he had been detained.
“He thought it was because he was too drunk, but then said there were too many mosques and they (Muslims) were grooming our kids.
“He said he had a child on the way and he did not want his child getting involved in all of that.
“Then he said the police should stop them burning our poppies.
“He confirmed he was a member of the EDL, and he was the male on the CCTV, and had ripped the pipe off the building himself.”
Jason Smith, defending, said father-to-be McIntosh, of Heathgate, Houghton-le-Spring, had never been in trouble before.
He said: “Usually, this is a matter that should have been dealt with by way of a caution.
“I accept the reason why it was not is because of the nature of the allegation, and because of his involvement with the EDL.”
Mr Smith told magistrates that the protest McIntosh had been to was organised with the “understanding” of the police and that McIntosh had the right to air his views.
He added: “Unfortunately, he had a bit too much to drink, and at the end of the march he caused damage to the drainpipe, then he walked away.
“He did not cause any more damage and he did not shout and swear or abuse anyone.”
McIntosh was fined £110 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the mosque, along with £85 court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Source – Shields Gazette 19 April 2014