Local people in food poverty have been helped by a grant from Staffordshire Freemasons to Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank
Hundreds of local people living in food poverty during the pandemic are being fed, thanks to a £3,750 grant from Staffordshire Freemasons to the Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank.
Demand at the Foodbank has risen noticeably since the pandemic began. Over the last year, the Foodbank has distributed 14,000 three-day emergency food parcels, made up of perishable and non-perishable items, up from 12,800 the previous year and that figure is still rising.
The Foodbank has major support from the community. Local schools, businesses, faith groups, individuals and over 250 volunteers have continued to provide vital support. Local people and organisations have donated approximately 100 tonnes of food and other essential items such as general and personal hygiene products.
The grant from Staffordshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the Freemasons' Charity, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
In response to the extraordinary need created by the coronavirus pandemic, Freemasonry is providing special funding of £2.75 million for projects helping those who are particularly affected by the virus. This extra money comes on top of the estimated £45 million given to charity every year by Freemasons.
Keith Stubbs, Chair of Trustees for Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank, said: 'We’re very grateful to Staffordshire Freemasons for their generous grant. Over the last year we’ve seen a steady increase in demand for emergency food for those in poverty across the city and the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak has only made the situation worse. We now expect to see these numbers increasing well into 2021. This grant will go a long way to ensuring that our charity will be in a stronger position to meet future demands so that we can better serve those most in need across Stoke.'
Selwyn Burton, Communications Officer for Staffordshire Freemasons said:
'I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank, who are doing hugely important work providing food for people living in poverty. It’s clear the pandemic has made the situation much worse and that the Foodbank will continue to have a crucial role for many months to come.'
Note: The photograph was taken before Covid 19 and social distancing rules.