The Government has announced a new multi-million-pound grant that will allow thousands of local charities across England to distribute food to people struggling as a result of the pandemic.
The £16m Defra Winter Support programme will be delivered across England through the charity FareShare and will help those who are vulnerable and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 to access healthy and nutritious food throughout winter.
‘During this difficult winter period, our frontline charities are providing vital support to the most vulnerable members of our communities,’ said food minister Victoria Prentis.
‘Alongside the wider Government support package, this grant will make a real difference to people across England. It will enable FareShare and their partner organisations to provide millions of meals for those who need them most.’
At least 4,000 frontline charities, not-for-profit organisations and community groups in England will benefit, including refuges, homeless shelters and rehabilitation services. The programme aims to provide over 7,600 tonnes of food over the winter months.
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, welcomed the announcement.
‘The FareShare network has been running a full-time operation throughout the COVID-19 crisis, to get food to our most vulnerable communities,’ she said.
‘In England alone we have delivered food equivalent to over 57 million meals since March 23rd. We welcome the Government’s further financial support on behalf of the 4000 plus charities we provide food to in England, who in turn created over three million meals a week to help their clients at the height of the first lockdown.
‘Both through this winter, and through the undoubtedly tough economic conditions set to impact the country this coming year, it is vital that we all work together to get help to those most in need.’