Northamptonshire Community Foundation, the number one place-based grant making charity in the county has hit a record milestone of awarding £2 million in grants in less than a year. The foundation’s previous grant making record of awards in a year has been £1.3 million. The surge in grant making is due to a Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund appeal in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust and a number of new funds directly responding to the need of local communities and residents during the pandemic. Approximately 555 projects and individuals have been supported since 1 April.
The group awarded as the Foundation reached its breakthrough achievement of grant awards is Weston Favell Centre Food Bank based in Northampton for providing food aid to vulnerable families and residents facing financial hardship. The local charity has been working throughout the public health crisis to keep local people safe and well and to ensure no one goes hungry or is struggling to access food due to self isolating and shielding.
Julie Parsons, of Weston Favell Centre Foodbank, said: “We are delighted to hear that the latest grant to our Food Bank takes Northamptonshire Community Foundation over the hugely impressive £2million marker. This has been a very challenging year and we have gone from feeding 500 people per month rocketing to 1,400 in May. The Foundation has been so supportive and helpful, guiding us through processes, as well as providing invaluable funding to Weston Favell Centre Foodbank. We send our thanks and applause to the Foundation for the huge difference they make in our community.”
This milestone award reflects the Foundation’s focus in November on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. Since the first lockdown the community foundation has awarded £335,867.91 to 118 projects specifically providing food aid to vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 crisis.
Northamptonshire Community Foundation has worked with a number of existing and new generous donors to boost the level of support to the local voluntary and community sector at this time ensuring that its grant making has been flexible, fair and meets the need of local groups and charities as they adapted and responded to working in difficult circumstances. All funded organisations have worked within the recommended Government safety guidance at this time.
Victoria Miles DL, CEO of Northamptonshire Community Foundation, said: “This is a significant milestone for the distribution of much needed fund to our incredible voluntary organisations and charities who have excelled in supporting the most vulnerable communities throughout this challenging time. We couldn’t have reached this amazing figure of £2million without the support and generosity of our donors and supporters. We are so very thankful for all the donations and volunteer time given during the last 8 months. We are so very proud of the people here in Northamptonshire. Thank you.”