Heavyweights from Suffolk’s Food & Drink industry have come together to build Suffolk Community Foundation’s Food & Drink fund.

Leaders from Suffolk’s Food and Drink industry, including Paddy Bishopp, Tim Rowan-Robinson, William Buchanan and Barry Chevallier Guild have lent their personal support to the Suffolk Community Foundation to build a special food & drink themed fund that will be distributed to charities and community groups relating to nutritional deprivation.

Judy Dow, Head of Philanthropy at Suffolk Community Foundation comments, “The Foundation’s recent Hidden Needs Report identified that over 83,000 people in Suffolk live at the most minimal standard provided by welfare benefits. This represents 12 % of the county’s population and includes nearly 20,000 children and 25,000 older people. Deprivation however goes beyond income and includes other forms of disadvantage, including food poverty. Although on average Suffolk has lower rates of multiple deprivation than England, it includes some of the country’s most deprived neighbourhoods. Over 14% of neighbourhoods in Ipswich and 12% in Waveney are ranked among the most deprived 10% in England.”

Paddy Bishopp, Chair of the Food and Drink Fund adds, “As a large rural county, food, drink and agriculture are important to Suffolk’s economy, with agriculture employing over 10,000 people, and food and drink processing employing a further 9,000 people. Further potential for growth is being driven by national demand for high-quality, locally sourced food and drink. With a number of themed funds already an integral part of the Foundation’s grantmaking capabilities, the Food and Drink Fund will play a vital role in helping to address local needs throughout Suffolk.

The aim of the Food and Drink Fund is to support charitable activities addressing local needs particularly those where there is a direct link with food and drink. The Fund will support charities, voluntary and community groups throughout Suffolk through a small grants programme. Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 will be awarded. The Food and Drink Fund will be launched and open for applications in early June 2018, with the first grants being awarded in September 2018.”

Stephen Singleton, Chief Executive at Suffolk Community Foundation continues, “We are delighted to be working with such an influential group of people from the sector. Without their support this fund would never have become a reality. It is only with their drive, dedication and generous support that Suffolk Community Foundation can develop this type of themed fund, which is targeted to support vital areas of food deprivation within Suffolk.”

If there are other food and drink businesses who would like to get involved, in whatever capacity, please contact Suffolk Community Foundation by emailing judy.dow@suffolkcf.org.uk

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