DORSET Community Foundation is working with BPC Council to distribute grants of up to £10,000 to groups helping to feed hungry families and individuals who are struggling with the cost of living crisis.
The money for the BCP Food Support Fund, which comes from the government’s Household Support Fund, is available to groups and charities in the BCP area.
The partnership was set up in 2020 during the pandemic to ensure people in crisis are able to get healthy and nutritious food all of the time.
Grants will go to groups providing free or low cost food, meals, food vouchers or food skills initiatives, to BCP households. Foodbanks, social supermarkets and community pantries are the type of scheme that would be eligible.
The money can also be used to provide food parcels, teach cookery skills to make the most of low cost ingredients and provide fresh or frozen meals at home or in a community setting, such as a lunch or breakfast club.
Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said: “Having worked with BCP Council to distribute its Winter Support Fund at the end of last year we are delighted the council has recognised our expertise and knowledge of the voluntary sector once again.
“We applaud the council for the speed with which it is acting to help address the cost of living crisis because from talking to the grass roots groups and charities working in these communities we know that rising food and energy prices, triggered by the highest inflation in 40 years and coming on top of the pandemic, is biting hard for many people.
“We urge any group tackling these issues and who is not already a part of the council’s Access To Food Partnerships to consider joining so they can take advantage the shared knowledge and support of the council.”
We applaud the council for the speed with which it is acting to help address the cost of living crisis
The community foundation distributed £112,000 of the council’s Winter Support Fund to 19 groups supporting 16,426 residents in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole over the winter.
Waste Not Want Not in Poole received £8,000 to cover some volunteer costs, stock up its social supermarket, buy a new fridge to store chilled items and cover the cost of ingredients and cookery classes, hampers and delivery costs and food vouchers.
Umoja Arts Network in Bournemouth was awarded £3,700 to cover the cost of 180 food parcels for ethnic minority families across the area. The parcels contained basic ingredients such as rice, pasta, fruit and vegetables and made a vital difference to people still suffering the economic effects of the pandemic.
Poole Communities Trust was awarded for its Moor Community Food Project. It said: “We really do appreciate that this grant was made available to us and there is no doubt that it has made a huge difference to many people living in Turlin Moor and Hamworthy.”
Find out more about the Access to Food Partnership here and about the BCP Food Support Fund and how to apply here.