Residents across Tewkesbury Borough will benefit from over £20,000 investment in community-based food projects, from food banks and community cafés to cookery classes.
Tewkesbury Borough Council has awarded five local community organisations grants of up to £5,000 to fund new and existing food initiatives across the borough, following expressions of interest. The grants will be spent on a variety of projects over a six-month period, supporting families and residents in need of access to food at little to no cost.
The council secured funding from Gloucestershire County Council to increase community-based food provision over the longer term, with the aim of providing more sustainable solutions to the rising cost-of-living.
Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Lead Member for the Community, Councillor Cate Cody, says: “We recognise the vital role that local community organisations play in supporting residents facing rising food and living costs.
With little or no cost to residents, these grants will support projects across the borough that focus on longer-term thinking regarding healthy lifestyles and providing nutritionally balanced food.”
Northway Parish Council will use the funding to open a new food pantry on the grounds of Northway Community Hub, providing weekly groceries at a low cost to help local people feed their families.
A new ‘pop up’ café and teaching kitchen will open at Brockworth Community Centre, providing nutritious meals along with an opportunity to learn new skills such as healthy eating and budgeting. Work on a new Community Garden to serve all ages will begin in autumn, including an allotment to grow food and areas for nature conservation and education.
Churchdown’s non-referral foodbank and pantry, Hungry No More, plans to offer a wider variety of fresh and frozen foods, to provide the basis of a proper meal, such as meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and ready meals for those without the means to cook from fresh. The grant will also fund improved food storage to help manage the stock, improve food security, meal planning and budgeting.
Following a kitchen refurbishment, Priors Park Community Church, based at the Chapel in Queens Road, will open a new café serving free hot meals two days a week and during the weekend. A Breakfast Club will run during the school holidays, with emergency food parcels and cookery classes offering further support to local families.
Greenway Gifts Groceries, a non-referral food bank based at St Paul’s Church Hall in Shurdington, intends to sustain its supply of essential items for at least six month and ensure it can provide good quality food with high nutritional value over the longer term.
Catherine Milsom, from Greenway Gifts Groceries, says: “The generous grant from Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Community Food Project Fund has made such a difference to our food bank.
“It has enabled us to continue to generously feed our clients, the number of which is sadly increasing week on week. Thank you for recognising this need and your continued support for Greenway Gifts Food Bank.”
Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Community Food Project Fund has now reopened. For more information and to apply, visit: tewkesbury.gov.uk/community-food-project-fund