In April 2020 we approached the Community Development Trust and East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) to request the redirection of Healthy New Towns funding. With this existing funding, and by working in partnership, we aimed to provide hot meals for children and families used to receiving free school meals.
Working together in partnership, our aim was to provide nutritional hot food to families in the area who weren’t able to utilise food from schools. With the generous funding from EHDC’s Healthy New Towns project the partnership were able to support more than 40 families over an initial period of six weeks.
Café 1759, our community hub, prepared around fifty hot meals a day which were delivered to schools and in the first six weeks alone more than 1,500 meals were provided. One recipient said:
“Thank you so much, I am a single mum and these meals have been a life saver and taken the stress away.”
Noticing that there was still a need for this provision to continue in the area, we collaborated with Councillor Adam Carew, who had previously supported Food Academy projects in the area. Cllr Carew kindly provided essential funding for this service to continue for an additional seven weeks. He said:
“COVID-19 is such a difficult time for families so I am thrilled to be able to use my County Councillors Grant to assist Radian to provide hot meals to children and families at Cafe 1759.
“I provided a grant previously to Radian for our very successful initiative providing cookery classes for older men so when Community Development Officer Susi Drummond asked me, I jumped at the chance. Cafe 1759 is a wonderful resource and it’s great to see it being put to such good use to support our residents during the difficult times with COVID-19. My thanks to Susi, Cafe 1759 and Radian for this positive initiative. “