Milton Keynes Council has marked the launch of the city's newest community food larder in Beanhill with regional charity SOFEA, the first to be based at a Council-run Children and Family centre.
The Moorlands Community Food Larder was unveiled on Friday and follows the introduction of a similar scheme in Coffee Hall earlier this summer.
Based at MK Council's Moorlands Family Centre, the food larder has 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.
Last year MK Council released 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.
The council also delivered its hugely popular Summer of Play earlier this year, creating more than 30,000 fully funded activity sessions and serving up 28,000 free meals over the school summer holidays.
Cllr Jane Carr, Cabinet Member for Tackling Inequalities and Child Poverty said:
"I welcome the launch of the Moorlands Community Food Larder in Beanhill and look forward to seeing more larders roll out throughout the city soon. We're committed to tackling child poverty in MK and have set a target of reducing rates by 20% by 2025. We'll continue to support these kinds of initiatives and we actively encourage other local agencies, town and parish councils to join the scheme with SOFEA."
Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said:
"This is the first time an MK Council children or family centre has hosted a SOFEA community food larder project. Our fantastic team at Moorlands Family Centre in Beanhill engages with thousands of people every year so I anticipate the new partnership being really well-used and liked by local families who visit the centre."
The Moorlands Community Food Larder will be open from next week and 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 Moorlands Community Food Larder in Beanhill, visit the SOFEA website at: www.sofea.uk.com.
This is replicated from a Milton Keynes Council Press Release here: https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/pressreleases/2021/oct/council-marks-opening-of-latest-community-food-larder