Community groups, organisations and town and parish councils are invited to apply for a new grant scheme which will help provide affordable food to East Suffolk residents in need.
Supported by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), the East Suffolk Pantries Grant Scheme is a three-year programme which aims to fund the initial set up of community pantries across the district, helping people in need to access affordable food in their local community.
The pantries will provide a welcoming space, similar to a shop, where people can pay asubscription of less than £5 per week and receive food worth at least £15 in return. Pantries can also provide additional support, signposting to other local servicesand help to reduce social isolation.
Cllr Letitia Smith, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism said: “Food costs have risen dramatically in recent months, and we know that many people are struggling to buy essential food items. This places huge demand on existing foodbanks, which have seen an increase in customers but unfortunately a reduction in donations. Community Pantries will help relieve some of the stress placed on local foodbanks by helping people in need to access affordable food in a community setting.”
Grants of up to £4,500 are available.
Pantry providers will become part of the East Suffolk Food Network, bringing together organisations providing bothaffordable food, and food in times of crisis. The network will be used to share best practice, gain support and manage access to surplus food to ensure fairness in distribution.
Applications are welcome from community and voluntary groups, organisations and town and parish councils.
Applications for these grants are now closed.
In December, East Suffolk Council was allocated £2.75m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which will be used to support high streets, local businesses, workforce and community skills development, as well as support for those struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
East Suffolk Council understands the pressures faced by many people today and is working closely with partners and stakeholders to ensure support is available to help ease the squeeze for households in East Suffolk.