The MK Foodbank has received its largest emergency grant to date, after receiving 4 months worth of funding from the Milton Keynes Community Foundation (MKCF).
The food bank needs £50,000 a month to meet the increasing need of families in MK. MKCF in partnership with National Lottery agreed to provide £25,000 a month from May to August to help them support our community.
Before the pandemic, MK Food Bank relied mostly on donations, and with lockdown in late March, there came food shortages and the Foodbank had to buy food to meet the increasing need.
MKCF was able to provide an immediate cash injection of £10,000, before a partnership with MK Council (MKC) saw Into the Community set up Food Bank Xtra.
MKC helped by providing venues and assistance with processing referrals and contacts with large wholesalers and also provided additional staff who were redeployed from other parts of the council that are currently suspended such as library teams, MKCF provided £19,000 funding for the additional support required to roll out the new service. Our latest grant will provide monthly funding of £25,000 until August to help support as people are unsure about employment and how they are going to pay bills.
Before the pandemic, the charity had already witnessed a rapid increase in demand for its service by those suffering from financial crisis, hardship, and unemployment. The effects of Covid-19 increased demand, as reasons such as self-isolation, illness, bereavement, and other vulnerabilities meant a severe shortage of food for many.
Individuals were finding themselves without work or money, were waiting for benefit claims, were ill or having to stay in their homes, all of which was making it harder to access those services normally be available to them.
The lockdown resulted in a massive increase in the demand for MK Food Bank’s services, whilst simultaneously meaning a serious decline in food donations.
In response, the charity launched Food Bank XTRA, an enlarged food bank operation, far more able to support its community effectively and efficiently.
Since its launch on 26 March 2020, what was a ‘normal’, pre pandemic food parcel delivery figure of over 1,000 per month, has risen to 1,000 per week.
Funding received has been able to meet the most critical need – food – a month’s supply of which costs as much as £50,000. Certain ancillary activities, such as logistics and other organisational running costs, are also to be taken into account.
The partnership with MK Council also means that, with more people benefitting from the food bank, it’s also easier for them to signpost them to other services such as Mental Health support.
MK Community Foundation’s Emergency Appeal has supported over 75 community groups who are providing vital support to those hardest hit by the impact of this pandemic have shared over £400,000 in grants from NET funding and the Covid-19 MK Emergency Response Appeal fund; set up by Milton Keynes Community Foundation in partnership with MK Council.
With an initial £100k re-allocated from existing fundholders, a generous £50k top up from MK Council and a substantial be reallocated by our Partnership with National Lottery. Our funding pot has reached over £500,000 of which £245,000 raised in our local appeal. However, to continue this vital support we need to raise £400,000 be the end of July.
Thanks to individuals and businesses who responded to the MK Community Foundation Appeal the money has been able to be distributed to the community groups who needed it the most in extremely quick turn arounds.
Find out more about the Foodbank story here: https://www.mkcommunityfoundation.co.uk/news-events/milton-keynes-community-foundation-news/2020/foodbank-community-awarded-129000-emergency-appeal
There is still a lot of work to be done in the community to help local community groups who need our help during these difficult times. Any donation to our Emergency Appeal will go directly back into our community and to the local groups who are working to help some of the most vulnerable people at this time. You can donate at: https://www.mkcommunityfoundation.co.uk/mk-emergency-appeal/donate/