Part of our business mission is to support three different partners across the year, and this is why.

After seeing the impact such a small amount of money can have for a place like St.Vincents, where every bit of income is hard won, and every donation eked out to give the maximum benefit to the most people possible, it’s going to be really hard to move the fund on to share with another organisation at the start of next year. So why are we moving on? Why not stick to financially supporting the same charity the whole time?

The northeast of England contains some of the most deprived areas in the country and as we all know, deprivation and hunger go hand in hand. Food insecurity is a huge issue for our country. It seems counterintuitive and crazy that a country as wealthy as ours has people barely getting by, feeding their loved ones instead of themselves, and suffering from malnutrition because they can’t afford to buy or have access to healthy food.

Our food banks, and other food redistribution charities do an incredible job of trying to bridge the gap, but getting fresh produce to people is a real challenge. Food banks generally aren’t set up to be able to store fresh foods, so the types of foods available at them, while invaluable, can fall short on nutrient density for the people who are dependent on them, contributing to more complex health issues and even obesity.

When we started thinking about what Feelgood might become, we knew we wanted to add our voice to so many others already calling for our basic human right to food to be enshrined in law, and we knew that we wanted to focus on delivering fresh, healthy food into our community.

In assessing our existing business and skill sets we realised we had an obvious opportunity to help organisations access fresh produce or support their fresh food initiatives. We also understood that it’s going to take a huge, unified effort to solve the crisis of poverty and food insecurity in our country. It just made sense to meet and learn from as many facets of our community as possible, and share those insights as widely as we could!

In one of our first articles I wrote, insight can lead to action, and action can lead to change, and let’s face it, having families starving and living in poverty in our region is unacceptable, and has to change. That’s what we’re shooting for here, massive, systemic change. We want to know how other people are tackling this, how they are using their creativity, perspective and energy not only to support each other, but to advocate for each other as a community demanding access to affordable, healthy food in a dignified and sustainable way.

So next year we will begin a new partnership, and a new journey of discovery. We really could not have wished for a better first community partner than St Vincent’s Newcastle and we’re already reflecting on what we’ve learned from the experience. We still have some Christmas events and celebrations to go this month, and we will miss the unique energy of such a wonderful and diverse team when December comes to a close. There are plenty of reasons to stay in touch though, and we intend to continue sharing some of their news, opportunities and events throughout the coming year.

We’re all holding our breath and desperately hoping that Plan B measures don’t need to be in place for long and we can continue on our journey towards recovery. To me at least, It feels like there’s a new energy brewing for 2022. For the past two years we’ve all been working hard, but at the same time everything’s been on hold. As we approach the end of the year we’ve done our reflecting, we’ve picked up the pieces, made new plans, discovered resilience we never knew we had, and now we’re ready to make something good. If we can keep our nerve, I think 2022 could be a year of renewal for us all.