Milton Keynes City Council has given an extra £80,000 to MK Foodbank to support more families struggling during the cost-of-living crisis.
The Council already provides support to the Foodbank and other local charities to the value of around £1M, including funding the build of a new warehouse to help them with their important work.
Now, the City Council is giving extra cash to help create 88 new MK Foodbank ‘top-up shops’ which help families struggling financially to buy food cheaply without having to rely on food parcels. Each top up shop is expected to help around 70 MK families, reaching more than 6,000 in total. In addition, some of the new funding will be spent on more than 1,500 food parcels for families who are struggling to make ends meet.
The investment is part of a range of wider assistance being announced in the City Council’s Winter Plan, which goes to Cabinet in November and includes extra funding for projects that provide food, offset or reduce energy bills, or give access to domestic essentials. Last week, MK City Council declared a ‘cost-of-living emergency’ and has already allocated more than £18m in support for struggling residents. Families struggling with the cost of food over the school holidays are also being supported by the City Council as it set aside £700,000 for supermarket vouchers.
A full list of support is available on the City Council’s cost-of-living webpage.
“It’s only right that we step up and provide support for families who are in desperate need of help. MK Foodbank is doing amazing work, but the increase in the volume of parcels they’re having to hand out is alarming. “That’s why we’re offering our support to create more ‘top up shops’ and hand out additional food parcels for struggling families. Our Winter Plan will set out practical support for people and I’d strongly encourage anyone facing difficulties to get in touch and seek help early.” - Cabinet Member for Tackling Social Inequalities, Cllr Jane Carr
“The trustees and staff at MK Food Bank are thrilled that MK City Council has announced its intention to provide funding to support our services this winter. This generous grant is greatly appreciated as part of our valued partnership and will enable us to help many residents of Milton Keynes who are facing financial hardship and food insecurity right now. “The cost of living crisis has led to increased demand for food support. Requests for emergency parcels are up by around 40% on this time last year and every week about 50 people are contacting us for the very first time. These numbers are rising all the time as people struggle to afford basic essentials and pay their bills, and the cold weather will inevitably lead to an even greater surge in demand throughout the winter. “More and more we are also hearing from individuals and families who need longer term support just to make ends meet. Our top-up shops are already helping hundreds of households put food on their tables and budget for other bills and essentials, and the funding from MKCC will enable our mobile shop to reach many more.” - Operations Manager at MK Foodbank, Louisa Hobbs