East Riding of Yorkshire Council has been recognised for its dedication in supporting the development of the East Riding Food Poverty Alliance and the actions to tackle a rise in food poverty in our area during the coronavirus pandemic.
The East Riding Food Poverty Alliance (ERFPA) – a partnership of food banks providing support within the East Riding – was set up in June 2020, after food banks witnessed an increase in residents requiring food vouchers since the start of the pandemic.
Food charities, voluntary and community sector organisations and East Riding of Yorkshire Council came together to help and support each other and to exchange ideas about how to address the issue.
The Alliance aims to identify the actions needed to improve local support for people living in food poverty.
ERFPA is supported by East Riding Voluntary Action Services (ERVAS), who is the appointed Locally Trusted Organisation for the Alliance.
In appreciation of the support provided by the council, which includes funding various projects, the ERFPA has presented the leader of the council, councillor Richard Burton, with a Certificate of Recognition.
Natalie Taylor-Robinson, food bank development officer at ERVAS, said: “As community organisations we’ve seen first-hand the challenges that COVID-19 has thrust upon local residents. Throughout the last year East Riding of Yorkshire Council has provided commitment and dedication to supporting the growth and development of the Alliance and the actions to address the increase in food poverty that we have witnessed across our area.
“Throughout this period the East Riding of Yorkshire Council have funded various projects to directly address those issues that our communities have been facing. Not only has it been the financial support but the dedication and commitment from many officers and councillors who have collectively enabled us to help thousands of individuals in times of severe hardship. The whole of the Alliance truly appreciate all of the contributions and this is why we believe the council should be the first of hopefully many organisations to receive our Certificate of Recognition.”
The ERFPA was delighted to work in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Department of Education in the provision of an Easter holiday food pack and activity pack which were distributed to eligible children across East Riding communities. This was in addition to school holiday luncheon vouchers in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions Winter Support Grant.
The Community Response Hubs, set up by East Riding of Yorkshire Council in March 2020 to provide emergency support to vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, also developed an excellent relationship with the ERFPA. Many council staff who were based at the hubs supported all ERFPA food banks by helping to collect food from DEFRA and make deliveries of food parcels to vulnerable members of the community.
From June 2020 until November 2020, members of the ERFPA distributed more than 146 tonnes of food to support vulnerable residents in the East Riding. Food was provided for over 7,000 adults and in excess of 4,800 children during that time.
Jayne Nendick, chair of the ERFPA, said: “To see the strength and the hard work that the ERFPA has achieved alone within the last 12 months is incredible. This shows that creating a network of support, advice and information sharing helps us all to serve our communities and we have managed to do this together in a short space of time to react to emerging issues. The sense of community is what we need to ensure we have a more holistic and cohesive approach to help tackle food poverty more effectively with commitment by a wide range of grass roots community organisations and partners. Together we stand united against food poverty.”
Claire Watts, regeneration and funding group manager, from the council, added: “One of the most rewarding elements of my work over the last year has been supporting the members of ERFPA to grow from being a group of small and committed local food banks to being a strong and effective collective, sharing expertise and resources, and becoming a vital lifeline for vulnerable residents.”
Local Food Poverty Alliance foodbanks:
The Hinge – Bridlington – 01262 679671
East Yorkshire Food Bank – 07842 753728 – Beverley (covering East Riding Wide)
Love Driffield – 0744 5554006 – Driffield