Harrogate community organisation Resurrected Bites to lend a helping hand this festive season

Resurrected Bites have reassured residents across the district that they are “here to help” if anybody is struggling during the festive period.

By Lucy Chappell
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 11:10 am
Updated Thursday, 9th December 2021, 12:52 pm
Rev Gordon Hay and Store Manager Carolyn Aitken pictured at the new Resurrected Bites Community Grocery Store in Knaresborough that opened earlier this week
Rev Gordon Hay and Store Manager Carolyn Aitken pictured at the new Resurrected Bites Community Grocery Store in Knaresborough that opened earlier this week

The Harrogate and Knaresborough based community organisation aims to reduce food waste and food poverty - and is already planning for a busy Christmas.

The organisation works with local businesses and suppliers to divert good quality food from landfill and instead, convert it into meals for their cafes, and provide it to families through their community grocery scheme.

Not only does it help people save money, it also means residents are helping to save the environment by stopping good food from going to waste.

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Resurrected Bites opened their newest community grocery store on Tuesday at Gracious St Methodist Church in Knaresborough, adding to their first which was opened in October at New Park Primary Academy in Harrogate.

The community groceries are run through a subscription scheme and are for people on a low income and for a small annual fee, you can have access to the shop and pay a very low rate for whatever you buy.

As we head into the festive period, times can be tough for many residents across the district and the team behind Resurrected Bites want to assure members of the public that they are there if anybody needs help.

Carolyn Aitken, Grocery Store Manager at Gracious St Methodist Church said: “We wanted to get the store open before Christmas because we know it is going to be busy.

“We are hoping that anybody who is experiencing food poverty will come and see us.

“You don’t have to be referred to us unlike food banks, we will just ask you a few questions and then you are welcome to come and do a shop.”

As well as a wide range of tinned, fresh food and frozen food, they also stock toiletries, sanitary products and nappies in various sizes.

The community grocery stores will be open on Christmas Eve as they aim to help as many people as possible to prepare for the big day.

Michelle Hayes, founder of Resurrected Bites, pictured, said: “We will have some Christmas presents on our shelves in the community grocery and some selection boxes to make sure that no children go without this Christmas.

“On Christmas Eve evening, we are going to be going and collecting all of the leftover Christmas food and we will distribute it out or freeze what we can’t get out that night.

"It does mean that the team will be working very late on Christmas Eve evening but we are focused on helping people who are struggling to put food on the table.”

Since opening in October, the community grocery in Harrogate has welcomed over 100 members who visit the store on a weekly basis.

Following the pandemic, rise of energy costs and loss of the £20 Universal Credit uplift, the organisation are encouraging residents to come forward and not to suffer alone.

Carolyn added: “We would say don’t feel embarrassed because we are here to help you, come and you will be very welcome especially at Christmas because we know things can be tough.

"There will be people in a similar situation and we won’t judge people for coming to use our services.”

How you can get crucial support from Resurrected Bites

If you are struggling with money management, debt, parenting, finding work or any other issues, Resurrected Bites are there to offer help and support.

Even if they cannot help, they will point you in the right direction to someone who can provide assistance.

In Harrogate, the New Park Community Grocery is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.30am until 3.30pm and is situated at New Park Primary Academy School.

The ‘pay as you feel’ café is located at West Park United Reformed Church and is open every Wednesday from 10am till 2pm.

In Knaresborough, the Community Grocery is based at Gracious St Methodist Church and is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.30am till 3:30pm.

The ‘pay as you feel’ café is also situated at the Church, and runs from 10am till 2pm every Tuesday and Friday.

If you want to join in at one of the cafes, there is no need to book - you can go along, find a seat and enjoy a nice hot cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake.

How you can help Resurrected Bites

Resurrected Bites’ cafes and community groceries simply couldn’t work without the help of their wonderful volunteers and they have more than 100 people who help them out with anything from collecting surplus food from supermarkets to serving in their weekly cafes.

They are always keen to hear from anyone who would like to join the team.

The organisation also relies on the generosity of businesses and individuals who offer them their surplus food and no matter what is given to them, they can usually make use of it either in their ‘pay as you feel’ cafés or through their community groceries.

If you would like to make a one-off or regular food donation then please get in touch.

You can also make a donation to their work by visiting their Neighbourly donation page which can be found on their website.

Every penny that they receive makes a huge difference to the people that they support, as well as helping to divert food away from landfill.

For more information about Resurrected Bites, visit https://resurrectedbites.co.uk/ or call 01423 593937