Provide additional help and support to our student and local community through the purchase of additional food products and equipment. We will also commit to assisting the Plymouth Food Action Network in the execution of their food collection and distribution service in support of local communities.
Our current food bank initiative was launched in December 2019, in response to the needs of our student community. A group of Access to Higher Education students realised that a group of their peers were struggling financially and were often unable to afford basic food items. To address this issue they approached the students union for assistance in establishing this food bank, a project that has developed swiftly and supported many students, particularly during the lockdown period of COVID 19.
We have some amazingly generous students and staff that continue to donate food on a regular basis, but feel our reach could be greater within the local community. During the COVID period we have worked alongside local community projects tp promote our support services, which now include help for homeless students and those experiencing financial hardship.
So, the journey so far has really shown how we as a College can step up and support our local communities in a time of need, above and beyond our normal day to day work. As you will know food banks are continuing to see a rise in demand due to the pandemic and we anticipate that this is only going to get worse in the run up to Christmas.
Previous donations have allowed us to purchase a fridge and freezer, enabling us to provide fresh and frozen food items in addition to the ambient goods previously available. Replenishment of stocks will be invaluable through this funding, as will greater capacity to provide additional support in the surrounding community, of which more than two-fifths of children in Plymouth wards are living in poverty . This can only be achieved through the continued generosity of our staff, students and local community.