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Greater Manchester Housing Providers Newsletter : Focussing on Food

Motiv8 is a Greater Manchester programme to help unemployed people aged 25 and over.

Hazel Clarke, Head of Jigsaw Support, the lead housing provider for Motiv8, said: “Food donations make a huge difference to some of our clients. We are there to provide support to help them get back on track – but sometimes this involves tackling the most basic of human needs that are a barrier to people being able to progress, such as food and housing. These can be a big part of the tailored support we provide to help our participants move forward with their lives during their Motiv8 journey.”

Recent evaluation found that most of Motiv8s participants are most focussed on receiving support for barriers they are facing in day-to-day life such as housing or mental health needs and with confidence and motivation. This helps them to ‘move on’. Without this, opportunities around education, training or employment can seem unattainable, or unreachable.  Further information about Motiv8 can be found here.

Urban Outreach led a project to make and distribute packed lunches over the summer holidays. An army of local volunteers helped and the final total this year was a huge 67,050 lunches. Bolton Council, Bolton at Home, Seddon and Warburtons provided transport to get the lunches out to the 22 distribution sites across the borough.

GMPA’s food security referral tool pilot is profiled in the newsletter as well, which helps connect people using food banks to first identify suitable income maximisation advice has been set up. The Jigsaw Homes JET team and Action Together Tameside team have been supporting the development and use of the tool.

You can find out more about the project on GMPA’s website. ​

In partnership with Regenda Homes and Onward Housing, Family Action Food Clubs have been running a weekly food pantry out of St Chad’s Centre in Hollinwood, Oldham every Thursday for the local community since April of this year.

In line with Southway Housing Trust’s commitment to going green, external funding allowed them to purchase two new electric refrigerated vans for their ‘Quids In’ food clubs. This proved invaluable to facilitate the move during Covid to delivering food parcels to member’s homes

Last year Southway joined two fuel voucher schemes with other NW housing providers, one coordinated by One Manchester and one by the Housing Association’s Charitable Trust. The schemes helped prepayment customers affected by Covid who were struggling to afford energy top ups. £6,000 worth of vouchers each worth £28 or £49 were given out depending on need and size of household.

The system of purchasing vouchers online and issuing a code by text to recipients who then redeem them at PayPoint outlets, worked particularly well at a time when everyone was reliant on contacting customers remotely. Southway’s Advice Services Team is now using the same system, working with Charis Grants, to supply fuel and cash vouchers to Southway tenants in hardship who have no income. The system is working very well, providing emergency help speedily to many vulnerable tenants.

The Active Appetites project from Trafford Housing Trust is an on-going programme supporting families with food and activities during the school holidays. Launched in 2019, it provides much-needed lunches, hot meals, food hampers and vouchers throughout the year, and has so far awarded grants in excess of £220,000 to local community groups across nearly 50 different projects.

Larry Gold, CEO of Trafford Housing Trust, said: “This pandemic has resulted in an incredibly challenging 18 months for all of us, and particularly for those families struggling with children that have been regularly in and out of school. With the new term under way it’s vital that we continue to help families to access food and by providing grants and teaming up with great schools and organisations we hope to make this school year a little easier.”

The full GMHP newsletter is available here


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