Grants awarded to tackle food insecurity.

August 10, 2023

In an inspiring move to alleviate food insecurity amidst the current cost-of-living crisis, Lewisham Council and Lewisham Local have announced a joint grant allocation of nearly £90,000. These funds will provide much-needed support to community food projects across Lewisham, with a total of 19 projects benefiting from grants amounting to £89,017. This initiative stems from the Food Justice Community Grants Fund, a collaborative effort launched earlier this year by Lewisham Council and Lewisham Local.

Supported by Lewisham Council’s Public Health team and contributions from Lewisham Local’s Cost of Living Crisis Appeal, the grant fund was created to tackle the challenges faced by food-related initiatives in the borough due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. These challenges include a surge in demand from residents experiencing food insecurity, diminishing donations, and escalating food prices.

The awarded grants will play a pivotal role in supporting various aspects of the vital work carried out by different organisations. These areas of assistance encompass enhancing food supply chains, providing culturally-appropriate nourishment tailored to Lewisham’s diverse communities, covering operational expenses for social supermarkets, compensating volunteer expenses, and conducting cooking classes for parents.

A selection of grant recipients announced today includes:

  • Rehoboth Community Outreach Club: Awarded £3,000 to ensure access to culturally-tailored food for local residents.
  • Feed the Hill: Awarded £3,000 to cover ambient and fresh food costs, supermarket vouchers, and volunteer expenses.
  • Kids Kitchen Collective CIC: Awarded £5,218 to facilitate cooking classes for parents with young children.
  • Evelyn Community Store: Awarded £3,000 to cover fresh and ambient food costs and volunteer expenses.
  • Lewisham Salvation Army: Awarded £3,000 to cover fresh and ambient food costs.
  • Rastafari Movement UK Wellbeing: Awarded £10,000 to sustain an existing food redistribution hub, including cultural foods, volunteer expenses, and project management.

These Food Justice Community Grants form an integral part of Lewisham’s comprehensive strategy to combat food injustice, which arises when individuals lack reliable access to affordable, nutritious, and healthy food. In conjunction with Lewisham Local and a diverse range of partner organisations, Lewisham Council launched a Food Justice Action Plan earlier this year to address the escalating food injustice exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis.

Councillor Juliet Campbell, Cabinet Member for Communities, Refugees, and Wellbeing at Lewisham Council, expressed her satisfaction, stating, “Our borough is fortunate to host remarkable voluntary organisations that go above and beyond to ensure food security. Understanding the strains these organisations are under, I’m thrilled that we are able to provide substantial grant support. Each project significantly impacts the lives of local residents, and in our broader efforts to counteract food injustice, we stand together with them in supporting our most vulnerable community members.”

Sam Hawksley, CEO at Lewisham Local, affirmed the importance of community-driven food projects in times of financial struggle, “Lewisham’s community food projects, driven by volunteers, continue to be a lifeline for many residents facing financial hardship due to the cost-of-living crisis. The funded projects showcase the creativity and dedication of local groups in finding solutions for the community’s needs. Through our food justice initiatives in collaboration with the Good Food Lewisham network, we remain committed to supporting these groups, while encouraging residents to volunteer or contribute to local food projects in their community.”

For an in-depth look at the Food Justice Community Grants Fund and to learn more about Lewisham’s relentless fight against food injustice, watch their insightful video and explore our efforts across the borough.