The Council has received additional funding of £95,558.21, from the Department for Communities (DfC) under the Covid-19 Food and Essential Supplies Transition Fund to assist the transition from emergency food support to the implementation of a more viable way to address food poverty insecurity.
Under this programme it is proposed to make nine direct awards of £9,500 to the nine Groups that participated in DfC’s Food Pallet Scheme. This will allow food and essential supplies to be distributed at a more strategic level across the Borough.
The nine groups that will receives this funding include;
- Monkstown Community Association
- Women’s Aid
- Listening Ear
- Oasis Antrim 19
- Community Relations Forum
- 1st Randalstown Presbyterian Church – The Jam Store
- A Safe Space To Be Me
- Whiteabbey Community Group
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey said;
“This additional funding will be greatly received by these groups who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, ensuring the most vulnerable in our communities were looked after”.
In addition to tackling food insecurity and fuel poverty the nine groups, in association with other Public, Private, Community/Voluntary sector partners, will also offer a range of other “wrap around” services to participants including money management, debt counselling, benefits advice, healthy eating, promoting good mental health, training and employability skills, volunteering and work placements etc. This holistic approach will provide participants with a pathway out of poverty of which food uncertainty is only one factor.
Council plan to use the remaining funding to develop a model for a future Social Supermarket/s for the Borough for which DfC is to provide further financial assistance. If established such an initiative will empower participants, help improve their social and emotional wellbeing and enable them to make the transition from poverty to prosperity.