Kettering town centre neighbours celebrate first anniversaries of food project and pet store

The shops in Lower Street held celebrations at the weekend

By Alison Bagley
Monday, 8th November 2021, 10:30 am

A pair of shops that set up in adjacent premises during last year's Covid lockdowns have marked their first anniversaries with a joint party.

The Shack Food Project, a food bank that sells pre-loved baby equipment, and Jamie's Pet Store, who are raw pet food specialists, marked the special day together on Saturday (November 6) in Lower Street.

Staff members from both organisations were joined by customers, family and friends - some with two legs and some with four - to enjoy cake, face painting and the wearing of party hats.

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The Shack Food Project and neighbours Jamie's Pet Store celebrated together with Carla Alderman from pet charity NANNA

A pet portrait photographer was on hand to capture the pooches and pussycats as they partied with the dogs snacking on canine-friendly cupcakes.

Manager of Jamie's Pet Store, Hannah Cerreoni-Huitt, said: "It's been an amazing year. We are getting customers from all over the place and we are opening a new store in Oundle.

"Raw feeding is getting so popular."

Also hoping to expand their work is the Shack Food Project with founder Claire Gurney looking to branch out to help families in Corby with food and equipment.

Happy Birthday!

In the 365 days the volunteer-run food bank and store has supported hundreds of people struggling to make ends meet.

She said: "What a year it’s been. It's been really successful. We have given out thousands of food parcels, helped over 500 people get food vouchers and gifted prams, clothes, baby equipment to needy families.

"We have helped domestic violence victims with furniture and so much more. Thank you to all the support we have had over this year especially to Trish Beal at Morrisons and Dorota Cooper, Morrisons at Burton Park and all at Grange Resource Centre.

"A huge thank you to our volunteers - we couldn’t do it without you and thank you to our neighbours next door, Hannah, Michelle, Arron and Lou (Jamie's Pet Store)."

Celebrating

Last year the volunteers gave 138 families a full Christmas dinner and a huge present parcel to help more than 360 children. This year they hope to help 200 families celebrate in style.

Claire said: "We are hoping to smash this target as we have a lot of food to buy 200 food parcels around that’s 200 chickens, 200 trimmings, 200 crackers and much more and to purchase more toys and teenage gifts."

Claire Gurney has launched the Shack Christmas appeal, asking for cash donations as well as unused toys, gift sets, gift cards and selection boxes

Support the Christmas appeal by clicking here or make a financial contribution via PayPal.