Local families that are struggling to afford food this summer are to be supported by cash grants from Western Power Distribution’s Community Matters Fund.
The electricity network operator has awarded grants totalling more than £30,000 to charities, local councils and community groups to help people put food on the table.
Many families are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, due to the rising cost of living.
During the school holidays, there is always higher demand at food banks, often from families which rely on term-time free school meals, and research in 2019 highlighted that there were three million children at risk of ‘holiday hunger’.
Amongst the beneficiaries announced is the Oasis Community Hub Bath, which has been awarded £2,500 to deliver food to people in the community affected by holiday hunger.
Claire Henwood from Oasis Community Hub commented: “This grant from Wester Power Distribution will allow us to further support the families who visit our pantries.
“We know that summer holidays in particular can stretch already tight budgets to breaking point, and so this funding will help by providing additional snacks and lunch supplies, in addition to the food they can buy from the pantries.”
Another Bath beneficiary is Youth Connect South West, which has been awarded £1,400 to provide healthy food to families and young people.
Tracey Pike from Youth Connect South West said: “This grant will make a massive difference to young people and families we work during the holidays, ensuring everyone has healthy food during this when everyone is struggling to make ends meet.
“We will provide healthy food to families and young people by providing meals in the cafe and opportunities to take part in fun cooking sessions.”
WPD’s Resources & External Affairs Director, Alison Sleightholm, added: “Holiday hunger is a very real and pressing issue in communities up and down the country, and at WPD we have an obligation to support families facing this problem in the communities we serve.
“We’re pleased to be able to support community groups, charities and local authorities in the South West which are working hard to improve the quality of life for families over the holiday period and beyond, and we look forward to seeing their projects deliver vital benefits.”
WPD is the UK’s largest electricity distributor, responsible for delivering power to homes, businesses and vital services through its lines and cables in the South West, South Wales and the Midlands.
Its Community Matters Fund is paid for by the company’s shareholders and distributes £1 million a year.