The Bensham Community Food Co-op began in 2016 and is a partnership between three organisations - Soul Food Spaces, Peace of Mind and Corpus Christi Church. The Co-op provides free fresh vegetables and fruit, herbs, spices, bread and many other staples for members living in the Bensham area of Gateshead for as long as is required. In the first two years we have provided food for around 120 people every week amounting to the equivalent of more than 10,000 people. The majority of volunteers at the Co-op are members who benefit from the food and get a sense of ownership through volunteering, building on their strengths and improving self-esteem. Over time a number have moved on into education and work. We have benefitted from neighbours, local churches and schools who have donated to the project, which now also provides kitchen utensils, clothes and toiletries. Refreshments are served including Soup and bread through the winter and a strong and positive community has developed at the Co-op.