A foodbank serving families from Moss Side, Hulme, Whalley Range and Old Trafford has been saved from scaling back its services, thanks to a commitment from the UKFast Community and Education Trust.
Manchester South Central Foodbank in Hulme distributed 22 tonnes of food to families in need in 2018-19, as well as supporting primary school breakfast clubs, groups that cook for homeless people and agencies working with asylum seekers.
The funding from UKFast Community and Education Trust assists with the foodbank’s growing rent payments, business rates and water bills, enabling them to continue to deliver their service at full capacity.
UKFast Community and Education Trust was launched earlier this year by Manchester technology firm UKFast’s co-founders Lawrence and Gail Jones and offer a helping hand to disadvantaged young people.
The trust is committed to providing sustainable and lasting support for young people experiencing poverty, abuse, discrimination, exclusion and neglect, building on UKFast’s existing work in the community and in schools.
Michelle McHale, a trustee of the foodbank said, “I cannot begin to express how thankful we are to UKFast and to Lawrence and Gail for their support and generosity.
“This funding relieves some of the pressures the foodbank faces and enables us to refocus on our core work of challenging and addressing food poverty within our communities, whilst supporting those in immediate need.”
The move follows a summer in which the UKFast Community and Education Trust committed to funding 67,000 meals for children to alleviate ‘holiday hunger’ – the gap caused by not having access to free school meals during the school holidays. UKFast also got behind this summer’s Fill the Foodbanks campaign with Manchester South Central Foodbank and Hits Radio, ensuring that foodbanks remained well-stocked during the summer holidays.
Lawrence Jones MBE, UKFast CEO added, “in this day and age, there is no excuse for people going hungry, especially children. It was a simple decision for us to back the Fill the Foodbanks campaign alongside our holiday hunger push. It was just as simple a decision when Manchester South Central Foodbank told us they were at risk of closure due to their rents and business rates we knew we had to step in and do something.
“It would be criminal if this critical service couldn’t continue, and there’s perhaps a wider question about why a foodbank should have to pay business rates at all. There are so many incredible businesses in the local area who do a huge amount for the community and I hope that they will see the foodbank’s plea and join us in our support.”
Manchester South Central Foodbank is delivered by local charity 'Bridging the Gap' and is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, franchised to The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.