In July 2020, Torbay Council received £185,000 from the UK Governments Food Grant fund to strengthen its resilience around food poverty during the coronavirus outbreak.
Since receiving the grant, Torbay Council have worked closely with its community partners to ensure that no one living in Torbay goes hungry.
Torbay Food Alliance, a consortium of 12 food banks and community voluntary organisations which formed as a direct response to the pandemic, has received almost half of the grant from Torbay Council to ensure that those most at need within Torbay have access to food.
Since the lockdown, the Alliance has provided more than 220,000 meals to those in need, using not only the funding from Torbay Council, but also by raising over £30,000 via its own Crowdfunder page, and by receiving diverted food donations from Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.
Councillor Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Torbay Council, said; “We have been working with community organisations for some time to address food poverty for people of all ages. We have focussed on supporting Torbay Food Alliance and Torbay Community Development Trust to provide food and support during this difficult time, and this includes children who won’t receive free school meals this half-term or during any other school holiday.
We were very pleased that the Government recognised Child Food Poverty during the school summer holiday. However, we feel very strongly that whilst we are still in the midst of the pandemic with more and more jobs and livelihoods under threat, we need to continue to support our community to help combat child hunger and food poverty.
Since the summer we have used the COVID-19 Food Grant to supplement the monies raised by Torbay Food Alliance and have also funded other ways of ensuring Torbay’s most vulnerable children have access to food”.
Simon Sherbersky, Leader Officer at Torbay Community Development Trust, said; “Since the start of the pandemic it has very much been a community effort to ensure that no one in Torbay goes hungry, and this approach will very much continue as we move into the winter months. Together with Torbay Council we have developed a strategic plan to ensure the grant funding lasts as long as possible and so far our plans are working. Collectively the Food Alliance Partners have stopped hundreds of people from going hungry, but we continue to need extra support from the community in terms of donations.
As demand for our services increases, we are also looking for more people to come forward as volunteers. We are particularly keen to hear from people who would be able to assist us in delivering food parcels. You can get in touch via the COVID-19 Community Helpline”.
The remainder of the funding has been allocated to other community organisations who provide food for people who are homeless due to COVID-19, and for food vouchers which are allocated to Torbay’s most vulnerable children.
Torbay Council and Torbay Community Development Trust are very clear in their message that “no one in our community should have to go hungry”.
If you are unable to afford food for yourself or your family, Torbay Food Alliance may be able to help. If you feel yourself, or someone you know may be eligible for this support then you can make contact via the COVID-19 Community Helpline on 01803 446022 or visit www.torbayfoodalliance.org/
If you are able to support the ongoing work of Torbay Food Alliance please make a donation to their Crowdfunder campaign. All donations will be greatly received and will ensure vital contingency funds are raised to increase the capacity of food available to those most in need.
For further information on support available for individuals and households in Torbay click here.
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