‘REBUILDING LIVES’ is an early intervention model and is targeted at people who are vulnerably housed and at risk or potential risk of homelessness. Our initial goal is to prevent this from happening.

Providing vulnerable households in crisis with weekly supplies of nutrient rich food in a safe and supportive environment is how we connect with people at risk who would benefit from our unique holistic support programme.

Our immediate concern is to ensure that people forced to make the horrific choices between eating and keeping warm or paying rent, do not go hungry, a situation which has a devastating effect on someone’s mental and physical health. This is where, and how, our intervention begins. Beyond the initial stabilising of the crisis, people have complex and multiple needs which can only be effectively met by building meaningful relationships, over time, coupled to a personally tailored joined-up multi-agency collaborative approach.

It is the need for food which brings people to us in the first place and if we do not have enough food on our shelves, then nothing else can happen which makes keeping our food supplies in pace with the demand for our crisis services a critical challenge.

Given the high volumes of food involved and the hygiene and environmental safety regulations, it is simply impossible to operate professionally and properly without a 'fit-for-purpose' well-equipped food distribution hub with robust food handling systems, processes and procedures in place.

The Matthew Tree Project Food Distribution Centre is a large commercial warehouse property located at Lawrence Hill Industrial Estate, near the M32, and is equipped with commercial grade walk-in fridge and walk-in freezer. We operate a fleet of five commercial vehicles, two of which are large transit size with temperature control capability. The distribution centre and all food logistic operations is run by a small and skilled staff team supported by a large army of trained and well supervised volunteers.

Food Supplies

By 2022 The Matthew Tree Project is distributing the food equivalent of circa. 9000 meals each week to vulnerable households in all post code areas of Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

All food is donated, 71% comes directly from the food industry, which would otherwise be thrown away and 29% comes from the general public via food appeal drives and personal donations.

44% of the food given out is 5-a-day fresh produce (fruit and veg). 56% is chilled or frozen foods (diary, meat, fish) and ambient (packets /tins /jars /long life).

The value of food distributed directly to vulnerable households was £571,802 and the value of food given to other charities and good causes was £55,412 (2020).

Urban Food Growing

The Matthew Tree Project is growing its own food (using organic principles), for distribution to our client group. Our first urban food growing site is equipped with a professional polytunnel and is located in Brislington, Bristol. In 2021 our tomatoes won the 'best in class' at the Talbot Road Allotment annual awards.

The urban food growing project is primary ran by volunteers and encourages clients to get involved and learn new skills and the opportunity of a share in the harvest.

Cottage-Industry Style Kitchen Food Production

The Matthew Tree Project is in the process of setting up its own commercial grade food production kitchen to provide skills training opportunities and possibilities for new careers within the catering sector in Bristol. Utilising food grown locally as the main ingredients of the uniquely developed recipes the kitchen will produce a range of food products for the benefit the local community in Filwood.

The graphic below depicts the vision we are building of the daily foodservice logistic activities of The Matthew Tree Project throughout the city of Bristol.

Donate Food

If you would like to donate food to The Matthew Tree Project, please contact us via the email address below:

info@the-matthew-tree-project.org

The Matthew Tree Project city-wide food logistics and distribution operations are shown in the diagram below.