Priti opens Witham Community Food Support Scheme
Witham’s new Community Food Support Scheme has been launched by the Town’s MP, Priti Patel. Priti called into the Witham Community Hub on Friday 25th November 2022 to formally declare the Scheme open and to hear all about how it will work from the Chair of the Hub’s Board of Trustees, Tina Townsend. Tina has been the driving force behind getting the Scheme off the ground.
Priti was joined at the opening by Benjamin Mann, Senior Equality & Partnerships Advisor at Essex County Council (Chief Executive’s Office) and Cllr Lewis Barber Deputy to Louise McKinley Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnerships and Performance.
The new Scheme works by referral. A family or individual struggling with food bills can be referred to the Scheme via a letter from a trusted partner, which can be a local authority, social services, a school or a GP surgery. The Community Food Support Scheme will then issue a card which will entitle the holder to purchase food at a discounted rate through the Scheme for an appropriate period. The focus will be on supplying staple foods such as eggs, milk, butter and cheese as well as tinned food at a substantially discounted rate of up to 20% less than retail prices.
Speaking after the launch, Priti said: “I want to thank everyone who has led this important initiative, which will provide essential support to constituents in Witham. This initiative is a marvellous example of the way the Witham community comes together to support vulnerable people in difficult times. I am delighted to support an organisation that has been able to get this important venture off the ground so speedily and efficiently.”
Tina Townsend, Chair of the Witham Hub’s board of trustees said: “I would like to thank everyone who has helped me to set up the Community Food Support Scheme, particularly Essex County Council, who have given me lots of advice throughout the process. Thanks also to Priti for being here on our big day. I am proud that the Hub is able to offer this new safety net for vulnerable people in our community.”