A COMMUNITY initiative that salvages food destined for the skip in order to provide hot meals for those in need is still looking for a new permanent home as it prepares to leave its current base at a fire station.

Food for Thought Darlington was launched just under 18 months 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, Albert Hill and the Denes, and offers a food delivery service for people on an evening.

The Northern Echo:

Since launching, they have fed about 2,000 people at events and delivered hundreds of night-time meals.

But with their time at their base at Darlington’s fire station almost up, the group is seeking a permanent home to carry on their vital work feeding people in need and offering emergency food across the town.

They are currently using the kitchens at St James the Great Church Hall in Albert Hill, and Louise Graham, chair of Food for Thought Darlington, is hoping they can find a permanent home with enough space for catering facilities and a cafe space to serve the food they have produced.

She said: "We have had a fantastic year, feeding and supporting thousands of people. We're confident we can keep going, despite not having a permanent home.

"The guys at the fire station have been so supportive of our project over the years. We've had some lovely offers of help and we've looked at a few possibilities – we'd love to hear from anyone who may be able to help."

The Northern Echo:

The group are holding what is likely to be their final event at the fire station on Friday between 2pm and 4pm, which will include a pay-as-you-feel sale of clothes, bedding, footwear, toys, bric-a-brac and books.

"The rising cost of living, welfare reforms and job insecurity are leaving people in horrible situations – usually through no fault of their own. Food is a necessity and people shouldn't be in this situation.

"We have grown so much – we are pushing on 50 active volunteers now and to see people's confidence and skills grow is absolutely amazing."

Anyone who may be able to help with a new permanent space for Food for Thought Darlington or anyone looking for information is asked to email fftdarlo@gmail.com.