Grants have been awarded to the many inspiring local initiatives who are getting food to our most vulnerable, supporting our most isolated elderly residents, and adapting other vital services to ensure people with the highest needs continue receiving the help they require.

Guildford Philanthropy, the Community Foundation’s local area fund, has been working with Foodwise (TLC) Limited, a charity providing cooked meals to disadvantaged families, older and isolated people across Guildford and Woking.

Foodwise has stopped its normal activities of teaching people to improve their cooking skills to better feed themselves and their families, and has deployed existing and newly recruited Food Coaches to prepare and cook nutritional hot meals that can be delivered to families and individuals referred to them free of charge.

Foodwise is working with Stoke Community Support and three local schools to operate kitchens at Emmanuel Church and Burpham Church. Over the past few weeks the charity has seen such a rise in demand for their services, that they are now delivering meals to more than 200 families a week.

The meals are delivered to those most vulnerable in the community including families with children on free school meals, young carers, a women’s refuge. A £5,000 grant was recently awarded from the Coronavirus Response Fund to support their work.

Foodwise (TLC) Credit - Surrey Live

Chair of Foodwise, Martin Vodden says:

“Foodwise has already gratefully deployed the funding provided by the Foundation through investment in large Cool Boxes for deliveries, ingredient purchases for our food production and commercial freezers for storing our frozen food prior to delivery. This has made a huge difference, as without this essential investment, we could not deliver some 1,600 meals each week. This is a lifeline to some vulnerable families, who have been impacted significantly by this pandemic.”

The response fund has to date reached over £1.2 million in monies raised, and while this has surpassed a significant milestone, the increase in demand for charities services highlights that there is much more to be done at this critical time.

Laura Thurlow, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Surrey says:

“Together, with the support of local donors, businesses and monies from the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal, we are able to support groups like Foodwise that are doing fantastic work in addressing and responding to the many urgent and growing needs found within our communities at this time. We urge anyone looking to donate to get in touch with us.”

To find out more about Foodwise (TLC) Limited and their services, visit their website here.