Not for Profit

Published: June 30, 2022 | Updated: July 1, 2022

DCF partnership with BCP Council helps hungry families struggling with the cost of living crisis

Grounded Community in Boscombe, which received £10,000, is piloting a Community Canteen.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Grassroots groups and charities helping feed people struggling with the cost of living crisis have received a total of £112,000 in grants.

The support is thanks to a partnership between BCP Council and Dorset Community Foundation.

Grants of up to £10,000 from the BCP Food Support Fund have been made to 19 groups across the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area.

They’ll help provide meals, food vouchers, food boxes and cooking kits for people who can’t afford to eat properly as fuel, energy and household costs rise.

The money has been provided by the government’s Household Support Fund.

Cllr Jane Kelly, pictured left, Cabinet Member for Communities, Health and Leisure, said: “These projects are an essential lifeline for our community and an innovative way for food waste to be reduced across the conurbation.

“We are grateful to Dorset Community Foundation for their excellent work in allocating grants to the hard-working organisations helping residents who are in financial crisis.

“We continue to encourage anyone who is struggling to afford food or energy bills to reach out to our partners, there is support in place to help you.”

Among the recipients is Grounded Community, in Boscombe, which received £10,000.

It is piloting a Community Canteen where it hopes to use part of the grant to bring people together to share a regular meal.

The charity already runs a Feed Our Community project at the Trussell Trust’s base in the St George’s Centre in Haviland Road.

From there it distributes boxes containing surplus supermarket food and fruit and veg grown in gardens and allotments across the area.

Michael French, Project Manager, pictured right, said the charity is receiving fewer donations from supermarkets because they don’t have the same amounts of food left over.

He added: “What we are finding right now is that we have an increase in need and a decrease in food so we need to look at other avenues to resource our food boxes.

“We know that hotels and cafes throw out a lot of food so we want to be able to collect that food.

“Some of it will not be suitable for the boxes and will need to be used straight away.”

The charity’s volunteers will cook meals several evenings a week and invite people to pay a small donation.

Other recipients include:

  • Bournemouth Community Church which is using a £10,000 grant to buy vouchers for fresh fruit and vegetables and meat from a greengrocer and butcher in the Winton area to distribute to families. It ran a similar scheme in the winter.
  • The HealthBus Trust in Bournemouth is using a £6,500 grant to provide healthy and nutritious food for vulnerable rough sleepers and people in temporary accommodation.
  • A £5,500 grant will help Safe and Sound Dorset send monthly food boxes to 100 vulnerable women on its register.

Other recipients include foodbanks in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch, Waste Not Want Not in Poole and The Friendly Food Club.

Grant Robson, pictured left, Dorset Community Foundation Director, said: “We are proud the council has put its faith in us again to get this money out to where it will have the most impact.

“All of these brilliant projects are meeting head on what is obviously a rising need because of the crisis so we are delighted that our experience and know-how can get this money to where it is so desperately needed.”