Local pensioners have been able to enjoy freshly cooked meals over the winter months, thanks to a partnership between Dorset Community Foundation and BCP Council.
The community foundation has distributed £80,000 of the council’s Winter Support funding to 14 food projects across the area through its Dorset Coronavirus Community Fund. Among the recipients is The Friendly Food Project, which has been awarded £5,970 to buy a van and temperature-resistent packaging to transport the meals around Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
The meals are cooked at St Phillips Church Hall in West Howe and delivered to pensioners who had been attending the project’s lunch clubs in Wimborne, Poole and Portland and Meet, Cook and Eat sessions in community centres and church halls across the area.
Founder Tony Gibbons said, “We deliver 350 a week so the van will be a big help. The need will still be there even after lockdown because some of the older people have been indoors for so long now and are still worried about what is going on. It will take months for them to get back.
“Food shopping is still difficult for many so to get a fresh meal delivered is great for them. One of the most important things about that is that our volunteers who deliver have got time to have a chat. That human contact is just as important as the food and it might be the only face they see that day.”
The funding is the sixth grant the club has received from the community foundation during the pandemic after receiving more than £28,000 to deliver Cookboxes to low-income families who were missing out on free school meals during the lockdowns. The boxes are full of ingredients and recipes, which are accompanied by a link to an instructional YouTube video made by one of the group’s six part-time tutors.
The boxes were an extension of the club’s normal activity, family cookery workshops aimed at encouraging pre-school and primary aged youngsters to cook with their families.
The cookery workshops are held in venues such as the Leigh Park Community Centre in Wimborne, Townsend Community Centre, the URC and The Spire Centre in Poole.
The Cookbox project has been such an unexpected success Dorset Council has decided to fund it to feed youngsters entitled to free school meals over the holidays this year. It will trial 1,400 boxes at Easter and then send out 8,500 over the summer.
For details of how to donate to the Dorset Community Coronavirus Fund, go to dorsetcommunityfoundation.org.
Please share post:
Follow us on