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Partnership to support vulnerable in Southwark

Electricity distribution firm UK Power Networks is partnering with Southwark-based business Mustard to ensure that people in the local community don’t go hungry.

From Press releases - 17 September 2020 12:00 AM

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The aim of the Fuel the Future project, worth almost £3,000, is to bring local businesses and individuals together with the aim of ensuring that vulnerable people are supported, working towards a future of no missed meals. 

The initiative was trialled over the summer break - a critical time for school age children who are guaranteed one meal a day at school during term time but often left hungry in the holidays when the schools are closed and the home environment cannot meet their needs. Now that schools are starting to reopen, the scheme is developing to provide a breakfast offering which will ensure that the children do not start their day hungry, giving them the best chance to learn and the thrive. This is especially important in the autumn and winter months when the temperature drops and bodies need more energy to be kept warm.

Five days a week, vulnerable children can go to Mustard Sandwich Bar to get a free lunch. So far the scheme has supported 600 meals for the elderly, providing Age UK with fresh prepped vegetables twice a week.

By pulling together resources (staff, premises, produce, suppliers, clients and contacts), the project is building a community that works together to provide fuel for the vulnerable. There is recognition that it’s not just children that are victims of food poverty and Mustard has already enlisted the help of AgeUK to help supply them with ingredients and produce for use in hot meals for the elderly people that use their services.

Adam Champion, area manager at UK Power Network, said: “It is of vital importance that we help customers in vulnerable circumstances and support communities to the best of our ability and in the current climate we’re looking for new, innovative and useful ways to do that.

“We are delighted that we can support Mustard to help those who desperately need it during these exceptionally challenging times.”

Chloe Gibbs, manager at Mustard Sandwich Bar, said: “Earlier this year the world stood still for a little while and as a result of that a number of issues were highlighted that did not previously get much air time and Marcus Rashford’s campaign was some something that really hit home for us.

“We believe that all children, no matter their background, should be given an equal chance to thrive in life and we knew that with our contacts and resources we had a great opportunity to help affect change in this area. We are really looking forward to seeing the results of this scheme, especially now moving in to the winter months.”

UK Power Networks’ also helps the vulnerable through its Power Partners programme, which strives to reach all fuel poor homes in the communities it serves with tailored support issued to around 850,000 families. Although the company does not directly bill people for energy, this has already resulted in financial benefits of more than £48million for customers.

The Instagram page @Fuel.The.Future will provide updates on the project.