order to provide hot meals for those in need has vowed to continue to stop people going hungry.

Food for Thought Darlington was launched more than a year ago and continues to offer events and initiatives designed to intercept and redistribute food that would otherwise go to waste.

The organisation has previously held pop-up events in locations across the town including Skerne Park, Red Hall and the Denes, and is now offering a food delivery service for people on an evening.

Since launching just under a year-and-a-half ago, they have fed about 1,800 people at events and delivered about 700 night-time meals.

Louise Graham, chair of Food for Thought Darlington, said: “It has really grown beyond our expectations. We aim to stand in solidarity with the community and we will continue to try to break down barriers.

“We are doing something that is really important and necessary for the town, given what has happened with austerity and Universal Credit.

“It is really tough for people and we are trying to improve their quality of life – it is disgraceful that in 21st century Britain, people are going without a hot meal every night.”

The group is holding a new pop-up event at Albert Hill at the end of the month, and on Friday, a group will be gathering at the Red Hall Community Centre to cook their own food and enjoy hot meals and dishes to takeaway.

Ms Graham said: “We don’t expect anyone to pay but there will be donation buckets if people want to do that, but we also would love for people to give a donation in terms of time.

“There is also so much waste whether it be from supermarkets, local businesses or people’s homes, so what we are trying to do is readdress the balance.

“It is really about the community. Universal Credit, benefit cuts and sanctions are having a big impact, and the rise in the cost of living has gone up for so many people.

“We are making it a level playing field and we have become a meeting point for everyone – we have had rough sleepers, families with lots of kids, asylum seekers, older people who come for the social aspect, there are a lot of complex issues why people are in the situation they are.”

Last year, the organisation’s pre-Christmas extravaganza saw people invited to tuck into a hot buffet and enjoy mingling with other guests at Darlington’s Community Fire Station.

Organisers also made sure those in need could take away household essentials and other treats.