Food aid across the county is to receive a boost following a donation of £49,900 from West Yorkshire’s police chiefs.
West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson and West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, Dee Collins, made the donation to the West Yorkshire Food Poverty Network from their Police Property Act Fund for charitable causes.
The West Yorkshire Food Poverty Network is made up of five smaller food networks that cover each district of West Yorkshire. The network ensures all five areas are working together to bring about a coordinated approach to tackling food poverty.
PCC Mark Burns-Williamson said: “It’s a tragedy that in this day and age there are still people that struggle to buy enough food for themselves or their families, but it’s still a real issue in many of our communities.
“This donation should provide some much needed co-ordinated support and will contribute towards easing the pressure on those in our communities during these increasingly challenging times.
“Organisations, including food banks, which will benefit from the monies are involved in tackling holiday hunger, which is a growing issue as many children struggle to eat during the holidays due to a lack of free school meals over the break.
“It’s fantastic to see monies from the Police Property Act Fund, which is created from the sale of recovered stolen property where the owners are not known and cannot be traced, used in this way to help many people in such circumstances across West Yorkshire.”
Chief Constable Collins said: “As a force, one of our key priorities, as highlighted in our Police and Crime Plan, is to protect the vulnerable.
“Families who are facing extreme financial difficulties can find themselves at risk of exploitation, leading to increased vulnerability. Food banks are an invaluable resource for these families and I am delighted that we are able to donate funds from the Police Property Act Fund, to help those in our communities who are struggling in these increasingly difficult times.”
Chair of West Yorkshire Food Poverty Network, Dave Paterson, said: “This financial allocation is greatly appreciated by many food aid providers across the West Yorkshire Region. There is lots of good collaboration work happening in different networks in our region and this finance will help to develop important work to support many ordinary people in providing food for themselves and will help the West Yorkshire Network become part of the National Feeding Britain initiative established by MP Frank Field.”
The Property Act Fund contains money from the sale of property connected with crime and can only be used for charitable donations.