Essex Community Foundation

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Helping to tackle food poverty in Clacton

22nd January 2018

An innovative charity making meals for vulnerable people from surplus food, has been given a boost of £8,000 thanks to staff at Colne Housing.

Clacton-on-Sea FoodCycle has been awarded £8,234 from the Essex-based housing association’s grant making scheme - Colne Community Builders, which is administered by Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The money will be used to feed more people in the Tendring area, expand their outreach programme and raise awareness of food poverty.

Roger Green, Team Co-ordinator of Clacton-on-Sea FoodCycle, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this grant from the Colne Community Builders.  It’s going to make a huge difference to the 40 guests we serve each week. This money will help us to keep providing this important service and to reach more people who could benefit from a hot meal and some friendly faces”.

Sarah Cawley, of Colne Housing, said: “Colne is all about enabling people to live independently and encouraging communities to thrive. Our teams use their knowledge and expertise when considering applications so the money can make a real difference.”

She added, “We are really impressed by the work Foodcycle does for people in Tendring and believe this grant will have a great impact on people who live in that area.”

Colne Community Builders was launched five years ago and since 2015 has been administered by ECF. In the last three years, Colne has awarded more than £39,000 to Essex charities and voluntary projects that enable independent living.

FoodCycle Clacton-on-Sea has served the community since 2011. Last year, it provided more than 2,000 three-course meals using nearly three tonnes of surplus food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

The fruit and vegetables, donated from local businesses and supermarkets, is used by a team of volunteers to create a three-course meal every Monday lunchtime at Trinity Methodist Church.
       
Guests who attend the weekly meal are elderly, have a low income or are without a home and facing mental health issues. Sitting down for a meal, which is prepared by local people, helps them to feel involved in the community.

Neil is 53-years-old and attends every week. He said: “You are able to talk to other people who might have gone through the same as you. I had a bad breakdown just over a year ago, and it’s only in the past few weeks that I’ve come out of my shell. When you’re able to start speaking to people like yourself, it makes you feel better”.

Colne Community Builders is now inviting more Essex charities to apply for grants through ECF.  Staff at Colne give a lot of consideration to the applications and vote to support the ones that will have the greatest impact in communities where Colne has residents.

Applications can be made by charities and community organisations in areas where Colne Housing operates - Babergh, Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Maldon, Tendring and Uttlesford. For more information, call ECF now on 01245 356018.