Additional funding to help tackle food poverty in Newtownabbey

A number of community groups across Antrim and Newtownabbey are to receive additional grants of £3,000 in a bid to help alleviate food poverty across the borough.

In March 2021 Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council received almost £100k from the Department for Communities (DfC) under the Covid-19 Food and Essential Supplies Transition Fund.

This was to help set up a more viable way to address food poverty, where some individuals and households are unable to maintain a nutritious diet. Since then, the local authority has welcomed almost £100k further from the DfC to expand on this programme.

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Under this initiative, it is proposed to make an additional nine direct awards of £3,000 each to the community and voluntary groups who are currently involved in the programme.

The funding will help support people across Newtownabbey.

The remaining funds will be used to develop a wraparound service to provide advice on debts, benefits, budgeting, healthy eating, housing, education and training to enhance employability skills.

The nine groups receiving this funding are Monkstown Community Association, Women’s Aid, Listening Ear, Oasis Antrim 19, Community Relations Forum, TIDAL, 1st Randalstown Presbyterian Church – The Jam Store, A Safe Space To Be Me and Whiteabbey Community Group.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Billy Webb said: “These nine groups have already been addressing food poverty within their own communities.

“I am delighted with the progress they have made so far and pleased that we can offer them this additional funding to help them to carry on the great work they have been doing.

“It is also great that we can extend on this programme by offering advice and support to our residents on a variety of different and sometimes difficult subjects.”

Last month the Newtownabbey Times reported that the council had received additional funding of £95,558.21, from the Department for Communities under the Covid-19 Food and Essential Supplies Transition Fund to assist the transition from emergency food support to the implementation of a more viable way to address food poverty insecurity.

Under this programme it was proposed to make nine direct awards of £9,500 to the nine groups (listed above) that participated in DfC’s Food Pallet Scheme. This will allow food and essential supplies to be distributed at a more strategic level across the borough.

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