Published on 21st July 2023
As the cost of living crisis continues, the council is extending its support for the most vulnerable in our communities.
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£294,752 has been awarded from the government’s household support fund to help with food, bills, water and other essential items, however local businesses and residents are also being asked for their help to support local food pantries.
Cheltenham has six food pantries and one food bank, all of which are seeing an increasingly higher demand with more residents using their services, and stocks of food are running low.
Cllr Flo Clucas, cabinet member for safety and community, said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding. It will help our most vulnerable residents: those with children, our elderly residents and those most alone. However, sadly as we know, it just won't be enough.
“With the rising cost of living and donations to foodbanks and pantries dropping over recent weeks, food item donations are needed now more than ever. Please help, if you can or if you need support, please reach out.’’
Cllr Peter Jeffries, cabinet member for finance and assets added: “The cost of living crisis has not gone away. Sadly, it means that so many people across Cheltenham have had to make sacrifices. We will continue to do all we can to support those most in need in our community, but we can’t do it alone.
“I’d like to urge our business community as well as our local residents if they can, to donate to help those most in need.’’
“I would also like to thank Cheltenham Borough Homes and all of our other partners for their on-going support.’’
Linda Grice, who heads up #FeedCheltenham, said: “I know how many of our food pantry users have found it difficult to make ends meet during the on-going cost-of-living crisis so any further support we can have would make a huge difference to people’s lives.”
Cheltenham food bank clients can benefit from a free leisure pass which gives inclusive access to free swim, gym and fitness classes as part of Cheltenham’s response to the cost of living crisis. Up to 600 people who use food banks and food pantries are being offered the chance to secure a #FeedCheltenham pass for activities at Leisure At Cheltenham.
The pass gives access to 12 free activities including swim, gym and soft play, in addition to a year of discounted access to pay as you go activities. The pass also gives holders 20% off Cheltenham Trust events.
Cheltenham Borough Council has worked with partners from #FeedCheltenham and NHS Gloucestershire to secure funding for the inclusive activity pass, with funding coming from the council’s ‘Strengthening Local Communities’ grant and the Cheltenham Integrated Locality Partnership.
Period products, such as tampons and particularly sanitary towels, are in high demand at community food outlets and Aspire Foundation Children’s centres. Period Equality is giving access to products when needed so that no one is disadvantaged by having their period. You can donate directly to the Food Pantries, Foodbank, Children Centres and Tesco Superstore is providing a donation point in store. Donations can also be made via the council’s website.
To support our community pantries, please visit their individual websites. The pantries are Cheltenham Foodbank, Caring for Communities and People (CCP) pantry project, Springbank Community Food Pantry, Cornerstone Cupboard, West Cheltenham Community Pantry and Lakeside community project.
To support #FeedCheltenham visit crowdfunder.co.uk/p/feedcheltenham.
For media enquiries, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org telephone 01242 264231.
Local residents can join food pantries by paying a membership fee. Please contact your nearest pantry for more information about joining. Cheltenham community pantries can be found on the council’s website.
Cheltenham Foodbank is a project founded by local churches and community groups and works together towards stopping hunger in the borough. Clients who are in crisis bring their voucher to the foodbank centre where it is redeemed for nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. Volunteers meet clients over a warm drink or free hot meal and are able to signpost them to agencies able to help solve their longer term problem.
How to help and support
You can make a donation to your nearest food pantry or food bank. Items most needed include:
- Tea and coffee
- Laundry detergent
- Tinned meat
- Tinned fruit
- Breakfast cereal
- Period products