Forest of Dean District Council to help fund local Lunch Clubs across the Forest
Forest of Dean District Council is providing £20,000 to fund 24 lunch clubs across the district.
Cabinet Member for Thriving Communities, Cllr Jackie Dale said:
“Lunch Clubs are vital for many residents in the Forest. They both provide nutritious meals and give people a place to socialise and enjoy other activities on offer.
“As the cost of living continues to rise, we’ve seen an increase in the number of lunch clubs required in the Forest of Dean. However, it’s been fantastic to see the strong community spirit still alive across the district, with volunteers and others providing such fantastic and welcoming spaces for residents.
“As a council, it’s vitally important to us that we provide as much support as we possibly can so that these spaces can continue. If anyone would like to know more about the help available in their area, please get in touch with our Community Builders Team by calling 01594 810000, or visit the Forest of Dean District Council website for more information.”
Forest of Dean District Council will reach out to existing clubs and speak with local partners to ensure that the funding reaches those who need it most. The money is coming from the Community Lunch Club Grants.
This is not the first year the Council has given financial support to lunch clubs. In recent years Lunch clubs have used the grant funding for a variety of different reasons, both for new equipment to help with the production of meals, and to help with the set-up of the space itself. One such group was Woodcroft Christian Centre Lunch Club. They used funding to help keep prices down for their members during the cost of living crisis, producing meals on a large scale for as little cost as possible.
A spokesperson for Woodcroft Christian Centre Lunch Club said:
“The grant that we received back in March last year was greatly appreciated and very needed at a time when costs everywhere seemed to be rising.
“By receiving the grant in 2023 it meant that we didn’t need to increase the amount that individuals paid at the start of 2024, meaning that extra heating and electricity charges didn’t need to be passed onto the guests. Even though food prices continue to hike, we are still able to produce a great quality 2-course meal (& tea/coffee) for our guests at £3.50 ahead.
“We currently welcome between 30-40 guests each month, and new people want to come which is amazing.”
For those who want to find out more about their nearest Lunch Club, or for more information on the help we can provide during the cost of living crisis, please visit the Council’s dedicated support page: https://www.fdean.gov.uk/council-tax-and-benefits/help-if-you-re-struggling-with-living-costs/support-available-in-your-community/