Double celebrations for a local food redistributor

Local food redistributor celebrates fifth birthday with £480,000 National Lottery boost

There’s double celebrations for a local food redistributor today after being awarded £484,000 of National Lottery funding on its fifth birthday.

The new grant from the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will help Altherstone-based Ediblelinks expand its work reducing food waste, hunger and diet related ill-health, transforming people’s lives through food.

Thanks to this funding, Ediblelinks will recruit four new roles, increasing their operational capacity to help reach hundreds more local people.

The award-winning Ediblelinks partnership is run by health and wellbeing charity, Nuneaton & Bedworth Healthy Living Network. It takes donations of surplus food from its key supplier, Ocado, and other retailers.

The food, which would have otherwise gone to waste, is redistributed daily to more than 40 school breakfast and after school clubs and over 130 community groups. For many groups these donations mean the money they would normally spend on refreshments can be reinvested into other activities. The food also goes to emergency food parcels, social eating projects and honesty shops, where people have the option to pay what they can.

In addition to redistributing surplus food, Ediblelinks also connects people to other local services and support. Their ‘personal shoppers’ are on hand at their honesty shops to offer friendly and welcoming advice. This includes advice on budgeting and healthy-eating, housing and welfare support.

Local councils, North Warwickshire Borough Council, who started the scheme in 2013, and Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council, collaborate to ensure people in need can access the service.

Sonya Johnson, Manager at Nuneaton & Bedworth Healthy Living Network, said:
“This National Lottery grant means Ediblelinks can continue to improve health and wellbeing for thousands of people in North Warwickshire. But it also means we’ll be able to accept new community groups, improve pathways to employment with new volunteering opportunities, and help even more people get out of food poverty.”

Suzanne Westlake, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Ocado, said:
“We’d rather see food in bellies than bins, so we’re delighted that the Big Lottery Fund has awarded Ediblelinks with funding to keep them going and growing. With Ediblelinks’ future secure, we’re ready to massively increase our donations of fresh food surplus, preventing food waste and giving more people the opportunity to eat well.”

On Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, the award-winning Ediblelinks celebrated its five year anniversary at a reception hosted by the incoming North Warwickshire BC Mayor Councillor Denise Clews, one of the projects’ most committed volunteers, and Bob Trahern, the Council’s Assistant Chief Executive, who started the project from the back of his car in 2013. The event was attended by local politicians, beneficiaries and volunteers from Ediblelinks, and representatives from partners Ocado, North Warwickshire and Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Councils.

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