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Manchester CIC Predicts 61% Increase in Demand for Food Parcels Between Now and Christmas

Approximately 2.2 million people in the UK are living in food poverty, many of whom require support from foodbanks on a regular basis. Before the outbreak of the pandemic a record high 1.9m emergency food parcels were distributed between April 2019 and March 2020 by the Trussell Trust. It is estimated there will be a 61% increase in demand for food parcels between now and Christmas.

This equates to six parcels being distributed per minute. Mass unemployment, on a scale not seen since the early nineties is predicted, which will result in a further rise in food poverty. An estimated 670,000 additional people will be classed as destitute by the end of 2020.

Since its launch in 2014, Bounceback Food CIC has been committed to fighting food poverty. Their public cookery courses and foodbank drive uses the ‘buy one, give one’ model to generate social impact. The cookery courses have enabled them to provide free places to people using foodbanks or getting third sector support, teaching them how to cook. Their foodbank drive is supported through donations at market events. This proactive approach to tackling food poverty has helped them teach thousands of people how to cook, donate over 10,000 items of food to foodbanks and provide over 75,000 meals as part of their wider community outreach work which includes catering, supper clubs and corporate cook offs.

Prior to lockdown, Bounceback’s outreach work predominantly supported people in Greater Manchester, Cheshire & North Wales. However, as the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic continues, the non-profit organisation is adapting its model to social franchising, so they are able to support the increasing numbers of people living in food poverty nationwide. By introducing this model the team at Bounceback are more confident they can help combat the growing number of people in food poverty in the UK.

Its current crowdfunder aims to raise sufficient funds so they can expand with three additional teams in new locations throughout the UK by November 2021, supporting the social enterprise’s long-term plan to have 20 teams operational by 2024. Each team will manage regional cookery workshops educating people how to cook as well as their market events generating food donations which will then be distributed to foodbanks in the community.

Discounted tickets to cookery workshops are just one of several rewards that people who pledge their support to the crowdfunder will receive. Signed first edition copies of the new recipe books are also available. The organisation is determined to make things fun too and have introduced an innovative way for people to stay connected, learn about food preparation and global cuisine, even in these difficult times. Their Secret Supper Clubs is a new concept that will bring a group of friends together for a dinner party with a difference. Bounceback’s team serves up a feast based on their favourite recipes as the host joins an interactive, virtual cook-a-long session. In line with the current Government ‘rule of 6’ guidelines, these intimate social events may be a welcome alternative way to spend an evening, as the nation faces more restrictions on socialising out of the home.

A range of corporate sponsorship packages have also been developed providing businesses with an opportunity for exposure by sponsoring an episode of Bounceback’s weekly Share Your Secrets podcast. The podcast celebrates the diversity of food, art and community and includes interviews with the artists involved in the production of ‘Secret Dishes From Around the World 2’, insights about community and culture from people in the featured countries and updates from Bounceback’s team as they scale up their proactive fight against food poverty across the UK.

Bounceback’s founding director Duncan Swainsbury said “I’m proud of the progress we have made over the last 6 months and that we have developed new ways to work. We have pledged 5 million free licenses to our online Cooking & Nutrition Portal and donated all remaining stock to our foodbank drive in the North-West. This is as well as adapting our catering service to deliver meals door to door, and launching online cookery workshops that provide free places for our beneficiaries”.

Swainsbury added “As claims for Universal Credit soar and with the furlough scheme coming to an end, we know that our organisation will be needed more than ever before to support those living in food poverty. It is essential that we scale up our social enterprise and build delivery teams in multiple locations to provide effective support to people nationwide.”