The Stop Hunger Foundation, set up by event catering specialist Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, has given grants totalling just under £20,000 to two Edinburgh-based charities who help to feed homeless and vulnerable people.
Edinburgh Food Social has been awarded £8,500 for its Food Truck Project, while Social Bite will use its £10,000 grant to help recruit and support more staff at its Social Bite Academy.
Kelly McVey, Sales & Event Coordinator at Sodexo Prestige Venues and Events, says that the company originally partnered with both charities last year and was hugely impressed with the work they carried out in their local communities.
“Following our initial introductions to these charities we felt they were strong candidates to receive further support from Sodexo’s charitable foundation and as a result put them forward for consideration.
“From the pilot project launched at St Thomas of Aquin’s in 2016, to the newly branded food truck which we helped them launch with the support from pupils at Gracemount High last year, Edinburgh Food Social has worked tirelessly to help to tackle food inequality. As food specialists ourselves, we’re passionate about this project, which delivers healthy eating and cooking programmes to six schools in Edinburgh.
“Social Bite helps feed hundreds of thousands of homeless people across Scotland every year. So, we feel it’s important to support their Academy, which recruits and trains vulnerable and homeless employees, as well as helping them address barriers in their wider lives that might be holding them back.”
Businesswoman, Eleanor Cunningham who set up Edinburgh Food Social says that thanks to the £8,500 grant they can expand their programme of workshops, cookery classes and school visits. “The Food Truck acts as a mobile classroom and has a purpose-built kitchen. This means we can run cookery classes on site using local produce grown in the Gracemount Walled Garden. Through our partnership with the community garden we’re able to show school children and their families that cooking and eating healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive.”
Charlotte Turner, Head of Corporate Catering at Social Bite, explains that the £10,000 grant from the Stop Hunger Foundation will allow the charity to recruit and support more staff at the Social Bite Academy. “We’ll now be able to create a private and confidential meeting space where we can carry out our one to one work with the volunteers we support. Last year, we employed 30 vulnerable people across our social enterprise plus supported another 18 people with a background of homelessness to volunteer. We’d also like to expand the training and support we give to the people who use our services, our support staff and our volunteers.”
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