Local News

Tens of thousands given to help fund food

Test Valley Borough Council has announced that almost £90,000 of funding has been given to charities and voluntary organisations to help residents access food during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, the government announced a total of £63m in funding to be allocated to local authorities up and down the country, through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Having received its part of the funding, the council has been giving financial aid to a number of community initiatives that will help those who need it, to access food and supplies through the winter months.

The council has been processing grants to foodbanks in Andover and Romsey, as well as issuing funding to St Mary’s Church and Romsey Community School for food initiatives. Six charities and community organisations have benefitted from this funding, at a total of £89,000.

Of that, almost £20,000 has been passed to Andover and Romsey foodbanks to help with any potential increase in demand over the next few months, while St Mary’s Church received almost £12,000 for a programme delivering food boxes to those most in need.

Romsey Community School received £30,000 for their multi-faceted borough-wide programme, including sessions on cooking on a budget, moving the Romsey food pantry from Romsey School to larger premises and providing subsidised food to families in need. It will also help them to expand their delivery of food parcels for those in rural areas.

The YMCA has received £2,000 to increase their stock, while Yellow Brick Road has received £6,000 to help support younger members of the community.

Community and leisure portfolio holder, councillor Ian Jeffrey, said: “We know that since the pandemic earlier this year, many families have struggled for food, or simply can’t access it due to self-isolation, or shielding. I’m very proud of the work our communities team has done in making sure that the funding we’ve been able to give, has reached those most in need.

“I’m also incredibly grateful for these charities and organisations who are organising these facilities and going out, rain or shine, to ensure families don’t go hungry. We are always ready to act and give further support if we believe that more needs to be done to ensure food and vital resources reach all corners of our communities.”