Co-op Funding Tackles Food Poverty in Local Communities

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HIWCF is delighted to announce that grants worth over £35,000 have been awarded on behalf of the Co-op Covid-19 Fund, to tackle food poverty across the region. The funding has been awarded to local foodbanks, day centres and charitable organisations to ensure vulnerable people don’t go hungry during these extremely challenging times.

The funding was made possible thanks to customer purchases from the Co-op picnic range, and the 13 groups to receive a grant are as follows:

Organisation Project Area Amount
Vine Day Centre Trust Aldershot £2,180.00
Ripples of Compassion Hampshire £1,004.00
Isle of Wight Foodbank Isle of Wight £5,000.00
Pan Together Isle of Wight: Pan, Pan Meadows and Barton, East Newport £4,028.00
New Forest Basics Bank New Forest £4,000.00
Connors Toy Libraries Portsmouth £2,000.00
Parenting Network C.I.C. (Baby Bank) Portsmouth £2,660.00
Portsmouth Vineyard LifeChurch: The LifeHouse Homeless Drop-in and Soup Kitchen Portsmouth £1,110.00
Citizens Advice Test Valley Romsey £1,150.00
Southampton Sight Southampton £4,897.00
Colne Avenue Baptist Church Southampton: Millbrook £1,280.00
Monty’s Community Hub Southampton: Sholing and Thornhill £4,895.00
Tadley & District Community Association Tadley, Baughurst, Pamber and Silchester £1,018.00
£35,222.00

Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value at Co-op, said “It’s heart-breaking to think of families and children in the UK going hungry and facing acute challenges during this unprecedented time. The need faced by many families is far more serious now than it was back in the summer and we are determined to do everything we can to support those who are most vulnerable. By partnering with the National Emergencies Trust and UK Community Foundations this funding will quickly go to work. Focusing on what really matters in local communities and providing direct support to those who most need it to make a difference to their health and wellbeing.”

Grant Cornwell MBE, HIWCF Chief Executive commented “We would like to thank Co-op for their generosity, which through the National Emergencies Trust is helping vulnerable people in our communities at this vital time. The charitable sector across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is working so hard to address the issues caused by food poverty and these grants will make a real difference to the lives of local people who are experiencing really tough times, providing them with emergency food and addressing the impact of food insecurity for those most in need.”

Isle of Wight:

Pan Together is based in Downside Community Centre in the heart of Pan in East Newport, and is providing hot meals to help those most affected by Covid-19.

Rachel Thomson, Pan Together’s Community Centre Manager, said, “We are tremendously grateful to the Co-op and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation for this really generous funding which means that we can continue to provide vulnerable local residents with hot home-delivered lunches each weekday as part of our lifeline support services – which, sadly, are now needed more than ever.”

Southampton:

In Southampton, a grant to Monty’s Community Hub will enable the Community Pantry and Community Lunch projects to continue helping those who are struggling financially and facing difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jon Oliver, Chair of Trustees at Monty’s commented “This incredible funding will help us continue working with our local community to keep people fed during the pandemic, partnering with local Cooperative Food stores to reduce food waste, and supporting local volunteers and families to learn how to cook nutritious and well-balanced meals on a budget. Thank you so much!”

Photograph shows Katie Piper visiting Monty’s as part of a new Coop campaign in November, with Anna Jacklin, Community Hub Manager alongside Monty’s Community Pantry.

Portsmouth:

Connor’s Toy Library lends educational and therapeutic children’s toys to needy families, carers, nurseries and other professionals. A grant is enabling the group to provide food, basic essentials, nappies and sanitary items to families facing severe hardship in the Portsmouth area.

Karen Drayton, Manager at Connors Toy Libraries commented, “This funding will allow us to provide parents, carers and children with food essentials when they most need it. We support hard to reach and vulnerable families and can quickly purchase and deliver items as soon as the need is identified.”

Romsey:

Citizens Advice Test Valley will be using their grant to offer advice and assistance to people collecting food parcels from the Romsey Foodbank.

Ange Moon, Chief Officer Citizens Advice Test Valley said “The funding we have received has enabled us to buy the necessary equipment to support a new role at the Romsey Foodbank – Manders has been employed as a Caseworker to work with the clients visiting the foodbank to see if Citizens Advice Test Valley can help resolve their issues.”

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About HIWCF

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) is an independent charitable trust established to inspire local giving for local need. The Community Foundation works both with donors who want to give something back to their local communities and voluntary groups providing vital services for local people where often a few hundred pounds can make a real difference to their lives. Companies, individuals, families and trusts can establish a fund with the Foundation, which supports a growing programme of grant-making to communities. HIWCF is part of a national network of 46 Community Foundations, one of the fastest growing philanthropic movements in the UK. Local groups can take a look at the HIWCF website to see if they might qualify for a grant: www.hiwcf.com or email HIWCF at grantsadmin@hiwcf.com

HIWCF is a Registered Charity No: 1100417. Registered Company Number 4534462.

 

UKCF

United Kingdom Community Foundations (UKCF) is a national network of 46 accredited Community Foundations across the UK. Its members bring communities together, fund great ideas and inspire local philanthropy. Its network has collectively given out over £1 billion in grants to charities, community groups and individuals. Community Foundations are part of a national network recognised by government for their local knowledge and experience in grant-giving.

 

Co-op Sustainable Food Poverty Programme

The funding is part of the Co-op’s sustainable food poverty programme, and this new Co-op Food Fund is making £1.5 million available through the National Emergencies Trust to United Kingdom Community Foundations (UKCF) to support people across the country impacted by food poverty.

Funds have been raised thanks to customer purchases from the Co-op picnic range, with Co-op generously donating over £35,000 through the National Emergencies Trust for Hampshire and Isle of Wight communities impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. The grant funding programme will enable the provision of emergency food and will address the impact of food insecurity for those in need. Grants are available for community projects that can provide access to nutritious food and balanced meals, redistribute surplus food, help educate on shopping smartly to make low cost meals, limit food waste and prioritise the wellbeing of children and young people impacted by food poverty.

 

Food Poverty

  • The Department of Health defines food poverty, also referred to as food insecurity, as the inability to afford, or have access to food to make up a healthy diet.
  • Last year, the government announced that it would start measuring food insecurity through its Family Resources Surveyand that data would be available from 2021.
  • Earlier this year, a YouGov poll commissioned by the Food Foundation suggested that 2.4 million (17%) children are living in food-insecure households.
  • Poor nutrition is acknowledged to be a factor in children’s performance at school and pupils whose parents receive certain benefits are eligible for Free School Meals.
  • In England, around 1.3 million children claimed Free School Meals in 2019 – about 15% of state-educated pupils.
  • Between April 2019 and March 2020, Trussell Trust food banks provided a record 1.9 million food supplies to people in crisis, an 18% increase on the previous year.