The Country Food Trust is a national charity that was established in response to the UK food crisis.
"In 2016 The Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimated that 14 million people in the UK are living in poverty and have to decide between the basic necessities such as food, clothing and heating. We decided we should tackle one element of this and focus on food."
Through their work with other food distribution charities they were quick to learn that although food was getting through to those people in need, meals provided were not always of good quality, rarely were meat based, and had little capacity for chilling or freezing.
"We believe that everyone, regardless of his or her economic circumstances, should have access to a balanced and nutritious diet and that is why we have set up The Country Food Trust."
By working with quality producers, the CFT set about producing a range of good tasting, nutritious and balanced meals, that they distribute by continuing to partner with a network of charities across the UK, including those here in Devon. This initiative provides free long-life meals for those who need them as well as paid-for meals for country-food lovers that help subsidise the supply of more free meals.
In a recent grant application to us The CFT told us that the highest demand for their produce comes during winter, however, when coronavirus hit, it caused a huge rise in people struggling to afford food.
"We have seen a massive increase in demand from the charities we work with in Devon. Many more families in the community are now in a position where they are unable to put food on the table and are therefore requesting food from food banks. This grant would allow us to provide good quality, nutritional meals / meat, to support the work of the food banks / charities."
We were pleased to be able to award a grant that has allowed CFT to purchase nearly one and a half tonnes of low priced but high quality surplus meat produce that they directed to the charity Devon and Cornwall Food Action.
"They had the chiller/freezer capacity to take pallet loads of chilled meat."
Devon & Cornwall Food Action used their channels in order to work quickly, delivering both directly to the end user as raw meat for them to cook themselves, and to partner charity The Hive who were able to turn them into complete meals from their kitchen in Cornwall before returning them for distribution throughout Devon.
We were delighted to see representatives from Devon & Cornwall Food Action and the Hive meeting with Country Food Trust Devon Ambassador Lynn Jaffa here to express a personal thank you. They told her “please be reassured and inspired that you are all making an incredible difference for those in need."
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