The Isle of Wight Council and The Southern Co-operative are working in partnership to make a combined donation of £2,000 worth of food to the Isle of Wight Foodbank.
The move comes in response to the Island’s foodbank plea that their reserves of food for distribution were running worryingly low. At the request of Independent Councillor Luisa Hillard, the Isle of Wight Council has donated £1,000 to support those in crisis. This has been match funded by £1,000 of food supplies from The Southern Co-operative which runs 12 community food stores on the Island.
Councillor Hillard is the Island’s recently appointed cabinet member for sustainability, and wants to ensure that a longer-term solution to support the foodbank is also investigated. She said: “When I read that the foodbank was in trouble I immediately raised the issue at County Hall as our Framework for Change states that we will be a more compassionate council. “There are two issues here. Firstly there is an urgent need to replenish foodbank stocks and I am very pleased that The Southern Co-operative has generously agreed to match fund the council’s £1,000.”
Councillor Hillard added: “Secondly, we are working with The Southern Co-operative to look at the feasibility of running collection points in their larger Island stores. The aim of this would be to provide ongoing support for the foodbank and avoid the situation we saw over the bank holiday when stocks came close to running out.”
“I am very pleased the council has been able to provide assistance to the Isle of Wight Foodbank which provides valuable, much needed support to many Island households. I would also like to thank The Southern Co-operative for their swift, positive and practical response. This will be a good example of how the public, private and voluntary sectors are able to work together to find effective community solutions to local issues.”
Hannah King, Manager of the Isle of Wight foodbank said, “We were thrilled to get this help from the council and from The Southern Co-operative and I am looking forward to working with as many people as possible in making the Isle of Wight Foodbank sustainable.
“There is a tremendous need for foodbank here on the Island and to date local people have generously donated over an amazing 62 tonnes of food. Our current figures show that we are feeding around 100 people per week who are finding themselves in crisis – 45 per cent of these are children.
“This gift and support from the council and The Southern Co-operative will help us greatly with the needs that we are meeting here at present. This additional offer of help at this time is most welcome.”
Photo: Isle of Wight Council