Kala Mandviwala from Tameside Meals Project collecting a tray of tomatoes from the FareShare Greater Manchester warehouse

Tameside Meals Project: Meeting the Needs of the Community

“Hot meals go a long way. It may be the only hot meal they get that day and we do whatever we can to make it nutritious” – Kala Mandviwala, Tameside Meals Project

Each week, Kala Mandviwala from Tameside Meals Project comes to our Manchester warehouse. Kala buys supplies for her team of volunteers to cook up to 200 meals for those in need.

Tameside Meals Project started during Covid in August 2021 and was meant to be a six-month-long project. It’s continued thanks to the support of Tameside Borough Council allowing Kala and her team to prepare the meals in the kitchen at Hyde Town Hall. Each week, the volunteers cook up several different dishes using the ingredients from FareShare Greater Manchester.

“We’re all here because we enjoy it!” – Raj, Volunteer Cook at Tameside Meals Project

How FareShare helps the Tameside Meals Project

Kala says the meals may be the only hot food the recipients get that day and there’s a real need. She gets her food from FareShare Greater Manchester as the ingredients are traceable. The meals they produce adhere to strict food safety regulations.

“Without FareShare, I wouldn’t be able to do this project and make it last as long as I have. The staff at FareShare really look after me. They help me plan and think ahead so I’m able to use lots of surplus that FareShare has.” Kala Mandviwala – Tameside Meals Project

Kala and her team produce meals to high hygiene standards, ensuring balanced nutrition with carbohydrates, protein and several vegetables in each portion. They prepare these meals in the kitchen at Hyde Town Hall every Tuesday, supported by the generosity of Tameside Borough Council. The meals then go to local charities and community groups who distribute them to those in need.

“Tears of relief, tears of joy”

One of the beneficiaries of the Tameside Meals Project is Tameside East Foodbank at Reach Church in Millbrook, Stalybridge. The church set up the foodbank after learning that local residents were walking as far as Ashton to collect emergency food parcels. As Andy Chadwick from the church says, “if someone can’t afford food, they can’t afford the bus fare or taxi fare to go and collect it”.

 “The partnership with Kala is vital for us. Rather than just offering some dried produce and cans we are able to offer a fresh meal to people and it means the world. We collect from here on a Tuesday and we’re able to give the meals out on a Wednesday morning. Some people have literally been in tears, tears of relief, tears of joy because they’re able to provide their children with a hot meal that evening.” Andy Chadwick –  Tameside East Food Bank at Reach Church, Stalybridge

Other charity partners receiving meals include those serving the elderly, families and vulnerable young people. Kala says sometimes social workers will pop into the kitchen and ask for meals for their vulnerable clients. Wherever possible, she helps them out, catering to their dietary requirements.

Currently, Kala funds the Tameside Meals Project herself after the initial funding to source the food ran out. She’s applying for new funding in order to continue this much needed service into the future.

food redistribution charity

FareShare is the only charity to take food from the wholesale level of the food industry

The vast majority of surplus occurs before food even gets to the supermarket. Each FareShare regional centre takes that food and redistributes to those in need. FareShare Go is our supermarket collection service, which deals with supermarket-level surplus.