The food bank was set up earlier this year but, due to lack of suitable space, volunteers have only been able to draw on resources from food banks further afield, collecting and delivering supplies to those in need. However, thanks to support from Yorkshire-based Engage Mutual the necessary funds are now in place to secure the opening of a dedicated store in the village.
Mrs Heather Booth, food bank volunteer and Engage Mutual customer signed up to the mutual’s ‘engage with your community’ customer initiative and applied for funding.
Her successful application has led to £5,000 worth of financial support which will allow for the creation of a food store room that complies with environmental health standards. This will mean a fully operational food bank before winter- the most demanding time for resources of this kind.
The mutual’s funding will pay for cleaning, painting, installation of washable flooring and lockable doors, as well as the vermin proofing of the store. It will also provide equipment essential to the store’s day-to-day running such as computers and telephones.
Corfe Mullen food bank is one of six successful community initiatives chosen to receive funding of up to £5,000, from a range of UK-wide applications received by Engage Mutual from its customers.
Speaking of the funding Mrs Booth said:
“Almost 10 per cent of residents in the area live beneath the poverty line, the aim of the food bank is to help and support them through their most difficult times.
“Funding from Engage Mutual is invaluable, it will mean we can bring the store room up to standards ensuring we can open well before winter, when we are likely to experience most demand for supplies.”
The ‘engage with your community’ initiative is open to all customers of Engage supporting those who are regularly involved with a good cause or community initiative. This year, customers were able to vote for three of the community projects to receive funding.
James Ogden, community activation manager at Engage Mutual, adds:
“Foodbanks such as these have seen an increase in demand due to tough economic conditions leading to many living on the breadline.
“We are pleased to be supporting Mrs Booth’s project, as it will provide an essential service to those in need across the area, especially over the winter months.”