Shropshire Star

Rotary club to help food project in Oswestry

A fundraising project to support Osnosh, which aims to tackle food poverty by using food that would otherwise be wasted and delivers educational programmes in the Oswestry area, is set to be launched by members of Borderland Rotary Club.

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Ben Wilson, centre, with Chris Bryan-Smith, left and Andy Boroughs of Borderland Rotary Club

The project is expected to be announced by Rotarians in the next few months and members also hope to help community-based Osnoch recruit more volunteers to help serve meals.

The move follows a talk given by 37-year-old Ben Wilson, who co-founded OsNosh with his brother Tom Wilson in 2018.

Ben said: "We run a community kitchen taking surplus food which otherwise would go to waste and our aim is essentially to give people food security.

Feed a Family:

"At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic we were sending out about 300 meals in Oswestry and surrounding areas.

"We are still dealing with a similar number through a variety of projects.

"We run a Community Cafe on Fridays where about 50 meals are taken, a foodshare table at The Centre, in Oak Street, Oswestry between 10am and 11am on Wednesdays, and we usually have 40 attendees and because of family numbers this amounts to double that number.

"From noon to 1pm on Wednesdays we serve about 60 hot meals and also provide meals which are delivered by the charity Qube."

He added: "We also have a community garden and gardening club and run educational programmes through holiday activities to teach people about food, and through these we reach about 500 people."

“The country is now experiencing some really hard times and it looks as if it’s only going to get worse but there are many people around us who live with hardship on a daily basis and have done for years and years.

"We can do our bit by cooking meals on Wednesday and Friday lunchtimes at The Centre in Oak Street, Oswestry, and putting together grocery packs for people to help themselves to but, we must also try to influence the way that people think about food, try to lessen the waste in everyday society."

Borderland Rotary Club president Chris Bryan-Smith, Borderland said: "Ben explained during a talk to Rotary that funding for Osnosh comes from many sources; the council, the lottery and from charitable groups as well as from donations from those who can afford to donate when they visit.

"They are continually applying for new and sustainable sources of funding and also looking for volunteers of all kinds to help prepare, and serve up to 70 meals at a service, so we hope to help raise funds and encourage more volunteers to come forward."