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Greenwood Academies Trust and leading food charity launch landmark partnership

This week, Greenwood Academies Trust and FareShare Midlands announced a ground-breaking partnership that is set to provide much needed, and urgent, support to families facing food poverty.

Working together, the Trust, which runs 36 academies across the Midlands, and FareShare Midlands, a food poverty charity, are looking to develop long-term, sustainable solutions, tailored to each communities unique circumstances, ensuring the families most in need of access to food are able to get the support they need.

This support will be rolled out across the academies throughout the coming year, but this week the Trust has begun signposting local organisations which can provide its families with the surplus food sourced by FareShare Midlands.

Greenwood Academies Trust and FareShare Midlands are also working with another key partner, Open Kitchens, on an exciting pilot, a food delivery service initially for four of the Trust’s academies in Nottingham. These academies are identifying families who could benefit from food assistance, and then delivering food to their front door, coordinated through an app developed by Open Kitchens, which allows volunteer drivers within the Trust to make the delivery.  Over the past couple of weeks, an incredible one ton of food has already been distributed.

Funding for this initiative is being kick-started with an initial £50,000 from FareShare Midlands and Greenwood Academies Trust and will be supplemented by a voluntary salary sacrifice scheme that will be supported by many staff across the Trust - with every pound raised paying for the distribution of four meals.

The Trust has 34% of families eligible for Free School Meals support, significantly above the national average of 17%. However, it estimates that up to a further 30% of the Trust’s pupils are families that are also financially struggling but don’t qualify for this support.

FareShare Midlands has also seen demand for food continue to skyrocket since the onset of the pandemic, with financial hardship causing thousands of people to struggle with putting food on the table. In fact, between 1st April 2019 to 30th June 2019, it delivered 1,765,000 meals in comparison to the 3,207,500 meals that were delivered during the same period this year.

Wayne Norrie, Chief Executive, Greenwood Academies Trust, said:

“At Greenwood Academies Trust, we work tirelessly to do everything we can to support our pupils, their families and the communities we serve.

“As a Trust, we serve a high proportion of disadvantaged families and know, first-hand, the extent of some parents’ struggles to support their families during what has been an incredibly difficult year. We have seen how the challenges of food poverty have become even more widespread across our community this year, and are proud to partner with FareShare Midlands to develop long-term, sustainable solutions that will make a profound difference in peoples’ lives.”

Simone Connolly, Director, FareShare Midlands, said:

“FareShare Midlands is delighted to be working with Greenwood Academies Trust on a range of solutions that aim to ensure that no child goes hungry outside of the school gate. 

“The pandemic has very sadly pushed more and more people into poverty and will continue to do so as the economic downturn takes hold.  Thousands more will lose their jobs and children will suffer as a result.  Ahead of us is a long and difficult road, but we stand united in our commitment to supporting those children and families that find themselves in, or falling into, the tangled web of poverty that is so often very difficult to get out of.”

Adam Roberts, Founder and CEO, Open Kitchens, said:

“Open Kitchens is delighted to be working with Greenwood Academies Trust and FareShare Midlands on this fantastic project which will make such a difference to so many families.

“We are working hard to test and develop our logistics and driver technology in order to develop the system to a level which will enable us all to make a big impact on so many children, with eventual rollout across all of GAT’s 36 academies.”

To further bolster this initiative, the Trust is seeking more partners who may be interested in supporting these efforts, whether through the provision of surplus food or through financial donations that will help facilitate the distribution of food.

For further details on supporting this project, please contact:

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