Food Club in Plymouth brings people together

Manadon Food Club in Plymouth opens its doors every Friday to the local community, providing vital food support for up to 170 families in the area – and so much more.   

Gillian told us it took her three weeks to pluck up the courage to come to the food club at Manadon Sports Hub. On her first visit a friendly volunteer heard her asking for gluten-free items, and not only found her some but, promised to keep some back for her in the future. “It feels very much like something a friend would do for you rather than just an organisation”, she said. 

Rachel from FareShare South West chats to a volunteer

Food Club members pay £3.50 to receive twelve items, from staples like tinned food and cereal to fresh meat pies and milk. Stocking the club’s larder is a community effort, with donations from football fans at food drives during Argyle matches, Ginsters and Bidfoods an essential element – but FareShare South West’s deliveries are big on fresh fruit and veg, and members can help themselves to this on top of their 12 items. 

“We are really trying to break the stigma of just giving away stuff away as a normal food bank would be. So, we’re a Co-Op Food Club as such.”

Trevor Phillips – ACT

It’s all thanks to Trevor and the Argyle Community Trust, Plymouth Argyle Football Club’s official charity. They’re committed to changing lives and inspiring people locally through a range of projects from football and education to social action. 

What happens in Manadon isn’t just about receiving food. Many members come for the social aspect too. Mike, a volunteer for Manadon Food Club, tells us how he’s connected with many of the members, “It helps more than just with shopping and saving money,” explains regular volunteer Michael, who sometimes uses the food support himself. “I think it also helps with mental health as well. I lost my dad last year, around the similar time one of the service users lost their husband. Just talking with them for a bit, because I was going through the same situation, it was good for them to have someone to understand them. Just to know someone’s there, someone gets it.” 

Mike’s personal challenges and experiences have helped him support others in practical ways, just from a chat in the queue. As a result of several house moves and being on a low income, he was able to signpost people to vouchers to receive free white goods.


The Trust runs a community café alongside the food club, where people can access free tea and coffee, and easy and affordable social time out of the house. When we visited, people of all ages were enjoying knitting, puzzles, card games, and some lively conversation.  

We spoke with James who visits the Food Club every Friday in order to support his family, “The food is for our granddaughter. She’s on hard times with three children and is a lot of the time on her own. All the food we get goes to the granddaughter, it helps her out.” After visiting the food club James heads to the community cafe. “It’s nice to have different company, I would recommend this place to anybody.” 


FareShare South West’s partnership goes far beyond delivering weekly surplus food to the Food Club. The Trust’s ‘Project 35’ represents the percentage of children in Plymouth reported to be living in poverty, and it aims to tackle food poverty in Plymouth through a range of initiatives, asking fans to offer 35 hours of time to making that happen. Many of the volunteers in our Plymouth warehouse came to us through Project 35, and have stayed long after their 35 hours were up!  Speaking to Trevor, you can see just how much this project means to him…

“We are doing it for the community, we are doing it for the club”.   

Find out more about Plymouth Argyle Community Trust and Manadon Food Club here.

Volunteer Sid tells us about his first warehouse shift.

Fresh root vegetables: squash, swede, pak choi, leeks and cabbage.

BS3 Community Food Club

Providing affordable, nutritious food for south Bristol.

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Over 3 million tonnes of the food that goes to waste each year is still edible

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