Community groups are being urged to apply to share £1.5m as picnic packs offer a funding boost to help fight hunger
Community groups across the UK working to help fight hunger and tackle the challenges caused by coronavirus are to receive a slice of a £1.5m funding boost raised through sales of Co-op’s summer picnic range.
Foodbanks, volunteer centres, food delivery services and, outreach services for those at risk of isolation are among local organisations urged to apply to receive a much-needed cash boost to help them continue their vital work during this unprecedented time.
The emergency funding raised is now being distributed by 46 community foundations across the UK, who will award grants to local organisations. Applications opened this week.
The retailer pledged to donate 20p from sales of its three-for-two picnic offer to the National Emergencies Trust (NET) in order to fund grassroots projects across the country which provide access to food and promote well-being in communities.
Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community and shared value at the Co-op, said: “It’s heartbreaking to think of families and children in the UK going hungry and facing such acute challenges during this unprecedented time. The need faced by many families is only growing and we continue to do all we can to support the most vulnerable to gain access to the food they need. Our co-operation with NET and UK Community Foundations means this funding can 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.”
Mhairi Sharp, interim chief executive of the National Emergencies Trust, commented: "With the pandemic continuing to pose significant challenges to families and individuals across the UK, we're delighted that an impressive £1.5 million has been raised and will be distributed across grassroots organisations during the winter months. The National Emergencies Trust was set up to collaborate with charities, corporates and the public to raise and distribute money as efficiently as possible and our partnership with Co-op and the UK Community Foundations reflects what can be achieved by a truly collaborative effort."
Rosemary Macdonald, CEO of UK Community Foundations, said: “Pre-existing food poverty has really been compounded by the pandemic and we’ve seen huge demand for the services of local charities and community organisations that can provide relief to people struggling to access food. As we enter the winter months this situation will get worse for many. Using the expert local knowledge of our network of community foundations we will ensure that the money raised by our partners will go the local organisations best placed to support the people and communities affected by food poverty.”
Local organisations are urged to apply to the Community Foundations for funding before Friday 13 November. Grants are typically of sums between £2,000-£10,000. For more information about how to apply, and the Community Foundations currently accepting applications, visit: www.ukcommunityfoundations.org/our-programmes/coopfunding