A Mansfield community champion is appealing for help to convert a disused town centre building into a soup kitchen for the poor.
Gulf War veteran Jason Rathbone is asking tradesmen to donate their time and businesses to give building supplies to help make the Karma Kitchen a reality.
Mr Rathbone, of Mansfield poverty relief charity the Joint Forces Alliance (JFA), plans to use the centre as part of a campaign to end food poverty in the town.
Visitors are asked to contribute a voluntary donation of £5 to help with running costs, with produce supplied by volunteers at the charity’s community garden allotment on Broomhill Lane.
Said Jason: “It will be an airy space with local art on display where people can get something decent to eat.
“If people want to they can contribute £5 but if not they can still get a meal.”
At present, the JFA’s community garden is still in its infancy but Jason hopes to develop an on-site horticultural training centre and enlist the help of schools, colleges and community organisations to supply the kitchen.
Meanwhile, he is asking for contributions of tinned and dried food as part of a wider food poverty action called the Community Action Campaign.
“Mansfield has a population of about 100,000,” said Jason. “So if we can get half that amount contributing one tin of food per month that would be a 50,000 per month coming into the food bank.
“We also want to get employees donating one tin per month then the company they work for to match it.
“The idea behind this is that if we come together as a community it will benefit us as a community.”
There are collection points at Mansfield’s Community Voluntary Service, Wood Street, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Regent Street, and the JFA headquarters, Block 7, Units 37-38, Old Mill Lane, Mansfield Woodhouse .
Or members of the public can set up their own collection points.
Tradesmen of all varieties are needed to help with the exterior work on the Karma Kitchen building, but roofers, plasterers and project managers in particular.
Jason is appealing for just an hour’s help from volunteers with food and drink provided.
If you think you can help please phone him on 07934 307156. To see Jason’s video appeal visit www.chad.co.uk.