Greenoak Community Focus supports its local Foodbank and relieving family poverty4 February | News
Greenoak Community Focus (GCF) is a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society based in the Woking Borough and has been working to provide affordable housing and support to its local communities and voluntary groups for over 18 years.
The current pandemic has been difficult for many in the community leaving more and more households struggling to afford basic food and supplies. In response to this GCF joined in the efforts to tackle family poverty by donating £3,000 to their local Woking Foodbank to help them to continue providing short term emergency food for local people in crisis. This along with other donations enabled the charity to move their operation to a new warehouse facility which was more suitable for the increased demand and allowed them to include fresh produce alongside long-life items in their emergency parcels.
The Woking Foodbank have struggled with keeping their foodbanks open during lockdowns but have managed to continue a delivery service. Their reports show that they have supported over 60 households with food deliveries every week since lockdown began on 23 March 2020 and provided 6000 adults and children in Woking with a 3-day emergency food supply during 2020. In December 2020 alone they provided food for over 740 adults and children and have seen a sharp rise in families with children referred to their services. January this year, saw a rise of 126% over the previous month.
GCF’s donation is in partnership with the ‘More Than Home’s’ campaign led by Accent Housing, and backed by the National Housing Federation, the Chartered Institute of Housing, and the Northern Housing Consortium. It was launched at the beginning of the first national Covid-19 lockdown and involves UK housing coming together to support The Trussell Trust’s network of food banks. The campaign has raised more than £250,000 so far by sharing the work they are doing to help residents and members of their wider communities through the pandemic.
GCF’s donation to the campaign is part of a wider support plan to help vulnerable residents and families throughout its own resident communities. It has been providing supermarket vouchers every month to help its families with children, with each family with a young child under the age of 16 receiving £10 per child. Sheltered and high-risk residents have also been receiving regular wellbeing calls to assist with isolation and assistance with acquiring medical supplies and support.
Alison Buckland, Project Coordinator with the Woking Foodbank said, ‘Thank you so much for the support, we would not be able to continue helping local people without it.’