Wirral woman’s food pantry helps people in need

Six years ago, a Wirral woman suffered domestic violence and had to leave her home with no means of providing food for her or her eight-year-old son.

In order to get by, Dawn Taplin had to make use of local food banks until her wages came in. Then, once she was more settled, she decided to help out at the food banks knowing how it felt to need help herself.

Now Dawn, who lives in Moreton, decided to do even more by setting up her own ‘Community Interest Company’ (CIC) called ‘Supporting the Peeps Wirral’ that offers pantry-style help from her own home.

Dawn told Birkenhead News how she started up, “I started going into Iceland [for the donated food] before I had any drivers – I used to walk a trolley back from Moreton every night with my son.”

It wasn’t long before people saw the good work Dawn was doing and they offered to volunteer to help out. Now, in addition to collecting food from the donation points in Iceland, they also have donation points at four Co-op stores, Tesco, and other places (listed below).

Dawn is a trusted member of the community who works alongside local councillors and Magenta Living and her food pantry helps “single mums, single dads, families, the elderly, vulnerable people – it could be anyone.”

Dave Smith, who volunteers at ‘Supporting the Peeps Wirral’, told us, “I’ve always had a love for helping other people who are less fortunate than ourselves.

“I just want to get it out there, so that more people are aware of it and to reduce that stigma around people who are embarrassed about such things. When we see some of the messages, they’re so desperate, you can feel the pain in their voices.”

Dave explained that people say to him “I’m not eating so that I can give something to my children and we’re still struggling – I don’t suppose you can help me?”

He continued, “We’d like to try and get some funding so you can get a little hub.” If they could do this, it would mean that the pantry would be in a more accessible place and not in Dawn’s own home.

Another volunteer is Gillian Harris. She said, “I find volunteering helped with my mental health and wellbeing. Because of the cost of living crisis, I recognise the struggle people are going through. During the school summer holidays there are no school meals, so how are you going to feed your children?”

Earlier this year, Wallasey MP Angela Eagle said, “I recently met Dawn who runs the amazing Supporting The Wirral Peeps C.I.C which provides food free of charge for local families struggling with the rising cost of living. All out of Dawn’s home in Moreton!

“Dawn and her team of 15 volunteers collect donations from local supermarkets to provide food for up to 95 families a day. This Christmas, the team provided 80 families with Christmas dinner and 72 families with a bag of toys.

“Supporting The Peeps Wirral C.I.C and its outstanding community work is completely volunteer-run. Please do get in touch with Dawn if you think you might be able to support her brilliant community work in any way – through donating, funding, or volunteering.

“Also get in touch if you are looking for any support at all. As for all the families they have supported so far, Dawn and her team will be more than happy to offer what support they can.”

You can find ‘Supporting the Peeps Wirral CIC’ donation stations at ‘Tracy Richards Tranquil Nails and Beauty’, Iceland, and Tesco at Moreton Cross and at the Co-op stores in Hoylake, Saughall Massie, Upton, and Woodchuch.

The team are Dawn Taplin, Debbie Develing, Dave Smith, Kathy Garton, Frederick Hughes, Lizzy Moitt, Louise Ashton, Harry Pleavin, Gina Robinson, Julie Grundy, Gill Harris, and Gill Davies who’s rolled range from from packers to drivers to an accountant.

Food is available free at Dawn’s house every night after 7 o’clock and any donations or support are very welcome.

You can get in touch with Dawn and the team through their Facebook page

Main image: (L-R) Dave, Gillian, Debbie, Dawn, and Kathy, with items available from the food pantry

Images: www.fotopiaimages.com

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