Milton Keynes Council has welcomed the opening of the city’s newest community food larder in partnership with Tinkers Bridge Residents Association and regional charity SOFEA.
The Tinkers Bridge Community Food Larder officially opened its doors on Saturday morning and follows the launch of two other similar Council-backed schemes in Coffee Hall and Beanhill in 2021.
Based at Tinkers Meeting Place, MK’s newest food larder has again been set up with SOFEA, a regional charity that works to support children and families through its own grassroots projects and initiatives including community food larders.
In 2020, MK Council published the findings of its Child Poverty Commission which found that almost 23,000 children and young people in Milton Keynes are living in poverty and don’t have regular access to healthy food and drink.
The Child Poverty Commission helped MK Council to identify specific projects to support and help deliver across the city aimed at reducing rates of child poverty, among which include the development of five new community food larders in partnership with SOFEA by 2025.
Cllr Jane Carr, Cabinet Member for Tackling Inequalities and Child Poverty said: “We’re pleased to have helped launch MK’s latest community food larder in partnership with SOFEA and the Tinkers Bridge Residents Association. We’ll continue to rollout more food larders like this at the heart of our local communities, and we actively encourage other local agencies, town and parish councils to get involved. MK Council is committed to tackling rates of child poverty throughout the city and have set a target of reducing rates by 20% by 2025.”
The Tinkers Bridge Community Food Larder will be open from every Saturday from 11am to 1pm at Tinkers Meeting Place. Access is granted through SOFEA’s flexible membership schemes starting from as little as £3.50 per week, which would provide up to £15 worth of subsidised fresh food and drink. This initiative is aimed to reduce food insecurity and is intended as a food top up. Over the course of a year, regular customers could save more than £400 on their regular food bill.
SOFEA community larders are designed to support people to live more independently and be a long-term sustainable approach to food insecurity. In a SOFEA community larder, the food is free and the weekly subscription also provides access to other support services, like help managing finances, mental health and wellbeing.
To sign up as a member and start taking advantage of the new Tinkers Bridge Community Food Larder, visit the SOFEA website at: www.sofea.uk.com.