Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet, which has been working with the isle’s established food banks and Ramsgate Town Council to distribute free food to people across the isle during the pandemic, has been awarded £42,000.
The grant, from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will be used to fund continuing free food distribution between now and August 8.
The community interest company, which is also responsible for the annual free Summer Kitchen scheme feeding families who may need extra help over the long school holidays, is headed up by Ramsgate resident Sharon Goodyer.
The former teacher and business owner said: “Yesterday we were awarded the grant from Defra to be spent in the next eight weeks on free food for Thanet.
“It means we can give better quality food in our bags than we have been able to afford up to now. We are also going to set up a cushion for when the free food ends by giving out stock cupboard bags as well. The special thing about this is that every penny of the £42,000 will be spent on food, nothing will come off for wages or rent.”
Following the ending of the grant period Sharon will be setting up a food club where people can pay £9 per week but be able to get £25 worth of food goods from shelves in dedicated ‘containers.’
Sharon said: “The food clubs will mean people can shop for affordable food. I am negotiating with some Thanet schools about setting up containers on their grounds. Inside the shelves will be filled with food from Fare Share and other places.
“This will provide everybody an opportunity to access good, affordable food while relieving the burden on food banks to provide for those who still need the service.
“With the food clubs people will have the chance to learn about food, cooking, testing and tasting and they will be able to go back to choosing the items they want which is dignified.”
The food clubs are expected to open in September although it is hoped to run a trial in August at a school location to be arranged.