Stratford upon Avon Foodbank is undertaking a 25 week project to deliver fresh food parcels to local families struggling to afford food.
Working in partnership with Wellesbourne based Hunscote Farm Shop , and VASA, Stratford’s volunteer transport group, the Foodbank are supplying fresh food parcels to 90 local families based in and around Stratford upon Avon.
Each family has been identified and assessed by referral partners, such as schools and social services, as being in need of support. The project, which started in November, runs for 25 weeks with each family receiving £20 of locally produced fresh meat, fruit and vegetables each week.
As well as addressing food poverty the Foodbank hopes to promote healthy eating choices by providing recipe cards with the parcels, which are also published on their website. The Stratford upon Avon Foodbank Fresh Food project is backed by funding from Warwickshire County Council and the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs.
Marion Homer Foodbank Manager said: “Our usual system of support is around the provision of a three day emergency food parcel consisting of tinned and packet food items. The parcels are designed for short term use to support clients whilst they work with their referral agencies to resolve their crisis; although longer term support is always available if needed.
“With the uncertainties caused by the pandemic our Trustees realised that for some people longer term support might be needed, and were keen to support as many families as possible over a number of months. Fortunately, funding available through Warwickshire County Council has made this longer term support possible.
“After an initial appeal to referral partners to identify families resulted in 90 households being nominated it became clear that additional funding would be needed. We are very grateful that Orbit Group were able to provide the additional money to allow us to extend the scheme from 75 to 90 families.”
The Foodbank say they are very grateful to the Bomford family who have allowed the charity to take over their packing room at Hunscote Farm one day a week in order to prepare and distribute the parcels, and for their expertise and advice in this area of food distribution.
Cath Bomford owner and Manager at Hunscote Farm Shop said: “It’s a very positive experience working with Stratford upon Avon Foodbank; staffed by lovely volunteers keen to help those most in need. It is our pleasure to provide fresh local produce to the families, hopefully showing how much tastier and healthier fresh produce is.
“The vegetables are never more than three or four days from harvest and mostly grown on the farm or sourced locally, as is the meat”.
Warwickshire County Council’s hotline on 0800 408 1447 remains open for people who need urgent help to access food and well-being support during these difficult times.
The council’s welfare scheme, accessible here: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme can also assist people in crisis by offering short term support to manage the needs of their households.
For more details on Stratford Foodbank visit: https://stratforduponavon.foodbank.org.uk/