Coalfields trust donates thousands to tackle food poverty in Wakefield district

An organisation that helps people who live in former coalfield areas will donate £50,000 to help tackle food poverty.

Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 7:00 am
Company Shop

In a bid to tackle the levels of food poverty across Wakefield, the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the only organisation dedicated to supporting the 5.7 million people living in former mining communities, has unveiled The Coalfields Food Insecurity Response Fund.

The trust is working with Company Shop Group, who pride themselves in turning problems into potential using surplus food and household products.

As part of the strategic partnership, the Coalfields Regeneration Trust will provide £50,000 worth of funding to eligible initiatives that address food insecurity. For funding involving feeding families and children, Company Shop Group will match fund, creating a fund value of up to £100,000.

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For example, successful applicants for projects feeding family and children would be awarded £2,500 by Coalfields Regeneration Trust. Company Shop Group’s generous offer would enable it to commit an additional £2,500 to give a project value of £5,000.

The funds will ultimately be distributed tol ocal people, particularly children and families, in the form of vouchers that can be redeemed for

food and drink (excluding alcoholic drinks) in Company Shop stores.

Andy Lock, Head of Operations (England) for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, comments: “Since lockdown, we have seen an unprecedented demand for food banks as poverty and hunger has hit.

"This is expected to get worse as job losses intensify and hours are cut.

“Before Covid-19, our communities were already experiencing significant health inequalities, with this added adversity, they are in crisis and need our help in accessing good quality, healthy and affordable food.

"Whether we support food banks, food parcel schemes or meal delivery services, we must get food onto the table of those people that cannot afford it.”

Projects can apply for up to £2,500 worth of vouchers and, if successful, will be granted membership to Company Shop, a redistribution supermarket, which will maximise their purchasing power.

In addition to the match funding, the discounts offered by Company Shop Group mean for every £10 spent, a project will typically get £30 in goods.

The partnership and match-funding agreement has been enabled by a significant donation from Nestle to Community Shop, the award-winning social enterprise under the Company Shop Group umbrella.

Community Shop aims to build stronger individuals and more confident communities, and

throughout the summer strives to tackle holiday hunger.

Steph McGinty, Retail, People & Communities Director, said: "We have worked closely with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust for many years and are thrilled to be

partnering on this new initiative which will help both organisations to reach even more children and families across the coalfield communities, at a time when they will benefit from our support the most.

“We are grateful for the generous support provided by the team at Nestle which has made this opportunity possible, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Coalfields

Regeneration Trust as we help to make a difference in the communities and to the families we ar proud to serve.”