Local families continue to receive support across the south

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A total of 35 good causes have been awarded a co-operative grant to help their work supporting more than 26,000 families across Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Kent, London, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire.

Southern Co-op launched its Feed a Family Fund in November to support local food banks purchase essential equipment or cover running costs.

A total of £7,000 was raised and distributed to the 35 local causes via the online platform Neighbourly to ensure the funding reached those who needed it most.

It is estimated that nearly 5,000 people will have directly benefited from the grants thanks to the work of the local good causes, who directly support local people through food provision.

The funding helped to buy three freezers, support school meal programmes, aid with transportation, supplement costs for packaging, and buying additional food items to bolster donations.

Holly Bramble, community and campaign co-ordinator at Southern Co-op – the regional, independent co-operative, said: “As people start to focus on the future and coming out of COVID-19, our community causes are still there for us and the stark reality is that the immediate demand for help is still very real.

“We’re glad that our Feed a Family Fund helped in so many ways but we also need to keep donating what we can at our local food bank collection points. Every tin makes a difference.”

There are currently 75 stores with food bank collection points for product donations in Berkshire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, London, Somerset, Surrey, West Sussex and Wiltshire. To find out if a local store has a foodbank collection, visit https://stores.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/search.html.

The local causes who received a Feed a Family Fund grant were:

Berkshire: Newbury Soup Kitchen supported by The Co-operative Food – in Pound Street, Newbury.

Dorset: Poole Community Exchange at Parkstone United Reformed Church supported by The Co-operative Food – Ringwood Road, in Poole; Ringwood Foodbank supported by The Co-operative Food – Ringwood Road, in Verwood; Wimborne Foodbank and Food for Ferndown at Turbary Resource Centre, supported by The Co-operative Food – Wimborne Road, in Wimborne.

Hampshire: Fordingbridge Community Fridge Appeal: Bridging the Gap during COVID-19 supported by The Co-operative Food – Ringwood Road, in Alderholt; Community Food Link Distribution Project supported by The Co-operative Food – Kings Road, in Basingstoke; Caring Hands Food Bank (Gosport) supported by The Co-operative Food – Gregson Avenue, in Bridgemary; Food bank PO9 supported by The Co-operative Food – Middle Park Way, in Havant; Single Parents Support And Advice Services in Southampton and the New Forest supported by The Co-operative Food – Long Lane, in Holbury; The LifeHouse Food Kitchen & Drop In Centre supported by The Co-operative Food – Elm Grove, in Portsmouth; Caring Hands Food Bank (Portsmouth) supported by The Co-operative Food – New Road, in Portsmouth.

Kent: Kent community helpers supported by The Co-operative Food – Parkside Parade, in Cliffe Woods; Gillingham Foodbank supported by The Co-operative Food – Beaufoy Close in Shaftesbury; Canterbury Food Bank supported by The Co-operative Food – Cromwell Road, in Whitstable.

London: Community Needs Foundation – Foodbank (Thamesmead) supported by The Co-operative Food – Holmesdale Road, in Bromley, LRMN Covid-19 Crisis Project (Chislehurst) supported by The Co-operative Food – White Horse Hill in Chislehurst; Food For All supported by The Co-operative Food – Uxbridge Road, in Ealing; Liberty Foodbank (Norbury) supported by The Co-operative Food – Orchard Way, in Shirley; Community Good Hub (Hackney) and Reach Aid Trust Covid-19 Food Programme (Mile End) supported by The Co-operative Food – The Oval, in Sidcup; Miracles – Feed London supported by The Co-operative Food – Ridgway, in Wimbledon.

Somerset: Fair Frome Food bank & Community Meals supported by The Co-operative Food – Nunney Road, in Frome; Nailsea Community Group CIC supported by The Co-operative Food – Hannah More Road, in Nailsea; Help For Homeless (Somerton) supported by The Co-operative Food – Mudford Road, in Yeovil.

Surrey: Runnymede Foodbank supported by The Co-operative Food – Fordwater Road, in Chertsey; Hale Community Centre Fridge & Cupboard supported by The Co-operative Food – Farnborough Road, in Farnham; Loveworks – supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people supported by The Co-operative Food – London Road, in Reigate.

Sussex: Littlehampton Community Fridge supported by The Co-operative Food – Station Parade, in East Preston; Horsham Community Fridge and Horsham Matters supported by The Co-operative Food – Guildford Road, in Horsham; The Whitehawk Foodbank supported by The Co-operative Food – Western Road, in Hove; Adur Community Cafe supported by The Co-operative Food – Abinger Road, in Portslade; Hastings Foodbank supported by The Co-operative Food – Battle Road, in St Leonards.

Wiltshire: The Vale Pantry supported by The Co-operative Food – Station Road, in Sturminster.

To find out more about Southern Co-op’s commitment to its communities, visit https://www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/love-your-neighbourhood.