Following reports of international students starving in Bedford, the Harpur Trust charity today issued reassurance that there is no need for anyone in the Borough to go hungry.
Throughout the crisis, the Harpur Trust has been working in partnership with the Bedford and Luton Community Foundation and other funders, to support many of the local groups and charities serving meals, delivering food and helping the most vulnerable.
Lucy Bardner, who is Director of Community Programmes for the Trust said: “There may well be people who are not yet aware of the support that is available to them but we’d like to encourage anyone who is struggling to reach out for help.
“Alongside an amazing network of new mutual aid groups like Bedford Kindness, we are very fortunate in Bedford to have an established network of grass-roots organisations working within our community and they have all been quick to adapt and respond to the situation. We have been supporting and funding these organisations over many years and have maintained regular contact throughout this crisis.”
Queens Park Community Orchard is one of the groups which has received funding to provide food packages via the partnership’s Bedfordshire Coronavirus Emergency Fund (BCEF). They have been working closely with the University of Bedfordshire, Seedbeds, local schools, the Polish Integration Centre, Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and Bedfordshire Refugee & Asylum Seeker Support, in order to reach those in need.
Bedford Foodbank, YMCA, Miracle Church and ACCMUK have also received funding from the BCEF to enable them to provide food to people in need including many who are experiencing real hardship for the first time as a result of the pandemic.
Thanks to the work of members of Bedford Homeless Partnership, a collaboration between homeless charities and Bedford Borough Council supported by the Harpur Trust, Bedford’s rough sleepers have also been provided with safe accommodation throughout the crisis and are receiving food as well as support and advice from experts who will help them get back on their feet.
If you are struggling, please visit the Bedford Community Hub, which can provide food parcels and put you in contact with people who can help.