As part of BCP Council’s Winter Support Grant funding, £80k was allocated to support community food projects. Local projects were able to bid for funding through our partnership with Dorset Community Foundation, to receive grant funding for projects that aim to help local people who are in hardship to access food.
Fourteen different organisations received funding for Community food projects, and it is estimated that over 3000 residents will be helped with food support because of the funding these projects have received from the grant.
Projects that have received grant funding include:
- Bournemouth Foodbank received funding to launch a new Community Café providing free meals to those suffering financial hardship. This funding helped with the set up costs to start the café, including purchasing the necessary equipment. The café at Bournemouth Food Bank will open once Covid-19 restrictions allow.
- Christchurch Activities for Young People received funding to allow them to respond to an increase in demand to their Food Pantry serving local families in hardship and offering low cost food and a delivery service for those self-isolating.
- Christchurch Community Partnership received funding for their hot meal delivery service during lockdown to support older people and families in need in the Christchurch.
- Faithworks Wessex received funding to enable them to provide four weeks of free food ingredients and all-in-one cooking pots to previously homeless individuals in their new independent accommodation. The grant money also includes purchasing fridges for those who were previously unable to store fresh food.
- Its All About Culture received funding so they could provide culturally sensitive food parcels in Boscombe, particularly focusing on ethnic minority The funding was also used to increase their storage capacity in response to growing demand.
- King's Park Academy PTA received funds to set up a new Community Fridge (and freezer) within the school premises to support vulnerable families with children at the school.
- Lovechurch received funding to help with increased demand for their food parcel project, delivered in the Boscombe area.
- Poole Communities Trust received funding to support the continuation of Moor Community Food to provide low cost food to residents in Turlin Moor suffering financial hardship. The grant funding has allowed them to increase the availability of fresh foods such as milk, eggs and fruit juice during the winter months.
- Poole Community Exchange received funding to help provide food parcels to families in financial hardship, as identified by local schools, working with partner organisation Poole Housing Partnership.
- Poole Waste Not Want Not received funding to provide cookers and fridge freezers for vulnerable households to help with better access to food and managing associated costs with being able to store and cook food.
- The Crumbs Project received funding for a project to make up food boxes with ingredients and recipe cards to enable Crumbs placement beneficiaries to cook for and with their families at home. They are also able to provide two fridges for beneficiaries moving into independent living.
- The Friendly Food Club received funding which contributed towards investing in a chiller van and relocating into a professional kitchen. This funding, alongside Lottery funding and company reserve money allowed them to streamline and expand their service, which has seen a dramatic rise in demand during the pandemic.
- Umoja Arts Network received funding to extend their project providing free meal boxes and prepared meals to ethnic minority communities in Bournemouth.
- West Howe Community Enterprises received funding to provide free meal ingredient boxes, alongside tutorial videos created by the charity. They also plan to provide face-to-face cooking lessons once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Councillor Nicola Green, BCP Council portfolio holder for Covid Resilience, Schools and Skills said:
“This has been a really difficult winter for many, so we are pleased to have been able to make use of this funding to support such a range of food projects. It’s important to support projects already established within our local communities as often they already have contact with those in need in their local area and are best placed to provide vital food access and support.
“I would really like to highlight the important work community food projects do normally, and have stepped up during the pandemic. A big thank you to all those involved in these projects for your continued hard work and dedication to helping those in need.”
Dorset Community Foundation Director Grant Robson said:
“We really appreciate the trust placed in us by BCP Council to get this money out to where it can make the most impact. All the brilliant projects that have been funded work incredibly hard to meet the need on their doorsteps and these grants will make a huge difference to individuals and families who are having an incredibly tough time because of the pandemic.
“We’ve worked in Dorset for 21 years and we know better than anyone where the need is in the county and it is very humbling that BCP Council has recognised that.”
Bournemouth Foodbank Fundraiser and Volunteer Co-ordinator Lauren Frank said:
“The grant is a huge help to us. With the café we’ll be able to offer our clients a more welcoming experience. At the moment they just go through a door, get their box handed to them and they leave. With the café they can sit down and wait for their food parcel and get a free hot meal and a drink and chat to our volunteers.”
If residents wish to help their local community by donating food and other items or volunteering, please visit: bcpcouncil.gov.uk/helpwintersupport