Mayor’s Hope Fund for food banks

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Joe Anderson

Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson © Trinity Mirror

A share of £32,000 from The Mayor’s Hope Fund has been given to 15 Liverpool organisations in a bid to tackle food poverty.

The scheme was launched by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson last year in a bid to relieve poverty in Liverpool.

In the last 12 months the number of people being fed by food banks has risen by 88% and all of the organisations selected help to feed those who are struggling in the city.

The money has been raised through a till giving scheme at Tesco stores across the city, as well as other fundraising events.

Speke Baptist Church has been awarded £960 from the fund and has already decided to spend the money buying extra cupboards as it does not have enough space to hold the stock required for the increasing number of food parcels it is providing. Its food bank is run by volunteers from the church and the local area helping to prepare food parcels.

The church said in a statement: “We are very aware of the hardships facing our local community. We are very grateful for the opportunity to be able to share our faith with our neighbours by providing practical love and support through the food bank.”

Another charity benefiting from the fund is Fareshare Merseyside which will receive £2,500 to aids its efforts to redistribute surplus food that would otherwise go to waste. The food is distributed to charities across the region, like homeless shelters, community centres, breakfast clubs for children and luncheon clubs for older people.

It helps to feed more than 5,080 people every day. A total of 106 charities are currently supported by Fareshare Merseyside which is a 41% increase in just 12 months.

Liverpool city centre. Photo: Ida Husøy

Liverpool city centre. Photo: Ida Husøy

“With more charities relying on us than ever before, we are incredibly grateful that some of the Mayor’s Hope Fund has been given to us so we can continue to fight food poverty and waste in the region,” Charlene Spencer, from Fareshare Merseyside, told JMU Journalism.

Trussell Trust Foodbanks are also being recognised by the fund with all three of their Liverpool branches being awarded funding to invest in their transport and logistics operations.

One of these branches is the Central Liverpool food bank which is part of the Imagine If Trust and seeks to raise awareness of food poverty through supermarket collections where members of the public can donate food to help feed those who are in need.

The Trust’s James Sloan told JMU Journalism: “We are currently feeding over 1,000 people each month and distributing thousands of kilograms of food in the process. The money from the Mayor will help us to transport the food from supermarkets and from storage facilities safely and swiftly, allowing the volunteers to spend more time focusing on the needs of our clients.”

Click here to make a donation to the Mayor’s Hope fund.

About Jessica Hayes, JMU Journalism