Local charities unite during COVID crisis

By Anita Jaynes on 20 May, 2020

Two local funders, Quartet Community Foundation and St John’s Foundation, have united with FareShare South West to help get food to those most in need during the coronavirus crisis.

At the start of lockdown, FareShare South West was seeking urgent funding for their COVID-19 Emergency Food Operation. Their operation is supporting over 260 organisations with food support, from homeless hostels to refuge centres, and from food banks to food parcel delivery for the elderly.

By working together, Quartet Community Foundation and St John’s have given the operation a much-needed £30,000 boost.

Claire Wynne Hughes from Quartet Community Foundation said, “Getting food to those most in need has been essential and, since lockdown began, Quartet has been able to award nearly £170,000 to food projects ensuring that immediate need for food is satisfied. We can only do this thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters.”

Sam Gillet from St John’s added, “St John’s has been funding FareShare South West since the beginning of 2019. We recognise the huge value of its work in making sure food is accessible and affordable for charities and individuals living in B&NES. At this time, many more people are struggling to access and afford food, and supporting FareShare South West is an excellent way of using our resources to effectively help people during this difficult time.”

Phoebe Ruxton, Head of Development explained what FareShare SouthWest is doing with the money. Phoebe, said,  “Our charity has had to respond extremely quickly to the food crisis, which has hit individuals across the region hard. In response to unprecedented demand for food, we have scaled up rapidly, and have doubled our food output in the last month alone. This has involved setting up temporary warehouse space (including using event space in Ashton Gate Football Stadium in Bristol), hiring new vans, sourcing new food and setting up new partnerships with pop-up emergency projects supporting the most vulnerable. These range from food banks to schools, and from children’s centres to food parcel delivery for the elderly. The effort from our team and volunteers has been extraordinary, but we couldn’t do it without financial support from local funders. Food poverty levels are going to remain high long after lockdown ends, so this isn’t just about our emergency work- this is about securing our charity’s future at a time when our community will need us more than ever.”