Romsey Foodbank, CAB Test Valley

CO-OP tackles Food Poverty in communities across Hampshire & IOW

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) is delighted to announce that grants worth over £35,000 have been awarded on behalf of the Co-op Covid-19 Fund, to tackle food poverty across the region. The funding has been awarded to local foodbanks, day centres and charitable organisations to ensure vulnerable people don’t go hungry during these extremely challenging times.


The funding was made possible thanks to customer purchases from the Co-op picnic range, and the 13 groups to receive a grant are as follows:

Organisation Project Area Amount

Vine Day Centre Trust Aldershot £2,180.00

Ripples of Compassion Hampshire £1,004.00

Isle of Wight Foodbank Isle of Wight £5,000.00

Pan Together Isle of Wight: Pan, Pan Meadows and Barton, East Newport £4,028.00

New Forest Basics Bank New Forest £4,000.00

Connors Toy Libraries Portsmouth £2,000.00

Parenting Network C.I.C. Portsmouth £2,660.00

Portsmouth Vineyard LifeChurch: The LifeHouse Homeless Drop-in and Soup Kitchen Portsmouth £1,110.00

Citizens Advice Test Valley Romsey £1,150.00

Southampton Sight Southampton £4,897.00

Colne Avenue Baptist Church Southampton: Millbrook £1,280.00

Monty’s Community Hub Southampton: Sholing and Thornhill £4,895.00

Tadley & District Community Association Tadley, Baughurst, Pamber and Silchester £1,018.00

Total: £35,222.00


Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value at Co-op, said:

It’s heart-breaking to think of families and children in the UK going hungry and facing acute challenges during this unprecedented time. The need faced by many families is far more serious now than it was back in the summer and we are determined to do everything we can to support those who are most vulnerable. By partnering with the National Emergencies Trust and UK Community Foundations this funding will quickly go to work. Focusing on what really matters in local communities and providing direct support to those who most need it to make a difference to their health and wellbeing.


Grant Cornwell MBE, HIWCF Chief Executive commented:

We would like to thank Co-op for their generosity, which through the National Emergencies Trust is helping vulnerable people in our communities at this vital time. The charitable sector across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is working so hard to address the issues caused by food poverty and these grants will make a real difference to the lives of local people who are experiencing really tough times, providing them with emergency food and addressing the impact of food insecurity for those most in need.




Isle of Wight:


Pan Together is based in Downside Community Centre in the heart of Pan in East Newport, and is providing hot meals to help those most affected by Covid-19.

Rachel Thomson, Pan Together’s Community Centre Manager, said:

We are tremendously grateful to the Co-op and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation for this really generous funding which means that we can continue to provide vulnerable local residents with hot home-delivered lunches each weekday as part of our lifeline support services – which, sadly, are now needed more than ever.




In Southampton, a grant to Monty’s Community Hub will enable the Community Pantry and Community Lunch projects to continue helping those who are struggling financially and facing difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Jon Oliver, Chair of Trustees at Monty’s commented:

This incredible funding will help us continue working with our local community to keep people fed during the pandemic, partnering with local Cooperative Food stores to reduce food waste, and supporting local volunteers and families to learn how to cook nutritious and well-balanced meals on a budget. Thank you so much!




Connor’s Toy Library lends educational and therapeutic children’s toys to needy families, carers, nurseries and other professionals. A grant is enabling the group to provide food, basic essentials, nappies and sanitary items to families facing severe hardship in the Portsmouth area.

Karen Drayton, Manager at Connors Toy Libraries commented:

This funding will allow us to provide parents, carers and children with food essentials when they most need it. We support hard to reach and vulnerable families and can quickly purchase and deliver items as soon as the need is identified.



Citizens Advice Test Valley will be using their grant to offer advice and assistance to people collecting food parcels from the Romsey Foodbank.

Ange Moon, Chief Officer Citizens Advice Test Valley said:

“The funding we have received has enabled us to buy the necessary equipment to support a new role at the Romsey Foodbank – Manders has been employed as a Caseworker to work with the clients visiting the foodbank to see if Citizens Advice Test Valley can help resolve their issues.”

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