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Preston community food hubs to get extra support this winter

Posted on - 3rd November, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Food & Drink, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Preston Community Hub’s Summer Fair. Pic: Paul Yates

A grant scheme for community groups who provide emergency food provision is expected to be increased to £250,000 to further support residents this winter.

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The Lancashire Community Food Grant Scheme is aimed at local organisations within the voluntary, community and faith sector that deliver projects to tackle food insecurity.

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The county council’s cabinet will be asked to approve the increase at its meeting on Thursday 3 November.

Community and voluntary organisations can apply for up to £3,000 from the community food grant scheme. Applicants can apply for items such as food, equipment, volunteer expenses, premises costs, organisation staff costs and resilience building activities.

Read more: The Larder’s community kitchen seeking to address food and fuel poverty in Preston

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The first round of the community food grant scheme for 2022-23 has already received more than 96 applications and has approved 46 schemes with funding totalling more than £123,000.

For instance, Preston Community Hub was formed in February 2020 to help provide food provisions during the pandemic and has successfully applied for funds to purchase of equipment and food.

Lancashire Women is a well-established, leading charity for women in Lancashire with an average of 6000 women accessing their services each year. The charity successfully applied for funding to support emergency foodbanks and their centres in Accrington and Burnley.

Read more: Preston masons donate over 400 items to Intact Centre’s food pantry

The Marsh Community Centre, based in Lancaster, runs a five day-a-week drop-in for the most vulnerable to get advice and crisis support as well as a weekly programme of youth and community activities. They received funding to support the running costs of their food club project.

Heading into winter, it is expected that there will be an increase in applications to the fund. Given the increasing demand, it is proposed that the funding available for the scheme be increased to £250,000 for the year 2022/23.

Read more: Preston residents urged to access Cost of Living information hub

Cllr Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “A significant number of projects across the county have already received money from this year’s community food grant scheme and we expect to receive many more applications over the coming months

“By increasing this fund significantly for 2022/23, we can support many more residents across Lancashire this winter.

“This is in addition to the £2m package of support Lancashire County Council has committed to strengthen a number of existing initiatives, which builds on the significant support by the Government to reduce energy bills.

“I would urge anyone in need of assistance, or who think they may need it over the winter, to visit our new Cost of Living information hub to see what help is available in Lancashire.”

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