Sunderland-based community interest company, MBC Arts Wellbeing donates £5000 of food and cleaning products to food banks across the region.
MBC Arts Wellbeing of 31 Norfolk Street, Sunniside, Sunderland has donated £5000 of food, cleaning and hygiene products to three Sunderland foodbanks, equating to 2.2 tonnes of essential items being distributed evenly and providing over 1800 meals to more than 600 adults and children.
Following the success of winning a lifeline grant from The Barbour Foundation, donations were also made by Booker Wholesale in Sunderland and Makro Wholesale of Washington to provide people in need with emergency food parcels throughout November.
In addition to the funds provided by The Barbour Foundation to buy food, cleaning and hygiene products, MBC Arts Wellbeing are able to provide 100 family activity packs, with 50 of those being delivered directly to families by the MBC Arts Wellbeing team and the remaining 50 will be distributed to people in need at Sunderland Foodbank.
Jonathan Conlon of Sunderland Foodbank said, “We are delighted to have received such a generous donation of food and cleaning products, weighing over 760 kg from MBC Arts Wellbeing.
“This donation equates to providing 608 meals or 101 emergency food parcels which will go to help people across Sunderland that are in financial crisis. Furthermore, MBC Arts Wellbeing have agreed to donate a further 50 family activity packs, which will include papier-mâché kits, clay equipment, sketchbooks, colouring pencils, paints and instructions which will be delivered to families in Sunderland throughout November.”
Another food bank to receive a donation is Hetton Loaves and Fishes Foodbank, with Hilary Avent commenting, “We are absolutely blown away by the donations we have received from MBC Arts Wellbeing this week. As the donations included general cleaning and hygiene products, as well as food, we will be able to provide many items to the adults and children, in our local community, who need our help.”
Mark Burns Cassell, co-director of MBC Arts Wellbeing added, “It is a real privilege to be able to do this good work in the community and we hope that it makes a difference to adults and families in the area that need this kind of support the most.
“Due to a second wave of COVID-19, we won’t be able provide our support and educational experiences through our workshops, exhibitions and classes but we are resolute in our determination to help those most in need, so we have redirected our attention to providing food, cleaning and sanitary products to three different food banks throughout Sunderland.
“We hope that in the near future we will be able to restart our workshops and classes, but in the meantime, we will do all we can to support our local community.”
Washington Community Food Project secretary, Maureen Bowman added, “This has been a fantastic donation which means that we can meet many of the client’s needs and thus allow them to use the little resources they have to meet other living costs.”
We calculate that the average cost of a food parcel would be £40.00.
Data published in April 2020 from The End Child Poverty Coalition and Loughborough University showed that between 2018/19, 24.3% of children in Sunderland were living in poverty, a rise of 5.6% from 2014/15. Furthermore, figures released from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) between April 17-27 2020, showed that almost one quarter (23%) of adults said their household finances had been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The remaining 50 family activity packs can be claimed online by visiting MBC Arts Wellbeing’s Facebook page (facebook.com/mbcartswellbeing) when they are released in mid-November.