After a unanimous vote in its favour by councillors at last night's Housing and Communities Committee, the council are to donate the remaining £10,500 from the Together for Safer Communities 2020/21 budget to foodbanks across the borough.

The Together for Safer Communities Initiative has been suspended since March, and so their 2020/21 budget of £12,000 is largely unspent.

Demand for foodbanks has risen through the coronavirus pandemic, with the Trussell Trust forecasting a 61% increase in food parcels needed across its UK network between October to December.

The council recognizes the importance that foodbanks provide for residents who rely on their services, and so the decision was made last night to spend the remaining budget in this way, rather than carry it over into next year's budget.

A £10,020 donation will be spread equally (£1,670 each) among the following six foodbanks across the borough:  

  • Basildon (Pitsea) Trussell Trust
  • Billericay Food Bank
  • Happy Hub - Basildon  
  • Helping Hands - Lee Chapel North  
  • Salvation Army - Basildon
  • The Gateway Project - Wickford

The remaining £480 of the budget will be spent on face masks and also be distributed equally among the above food banks, to help combat face mask poverty.

Chairman of the Housing and Communities Committee, Councillor Kerry Smith, said: "I'm really pleased we could agree to this £10,500 donation to support our borough's foodbanks. They do such brilliant, selfless work across the whole of Basildon.

"Food banks rely on donations and we know there's a strain on their services at the moment, so hopefully the additional funding will help them to provide resources to local residents in the most need.

 "We know these are difficult times for everyone, but if you are able to please consider donating to your local food bank either directly or via the drop off points within local supermarkets."

ENDS

Published on Wednesday 25 November 2020