News

Hunt’s Food Group partners with SCF to support poverty, mental health and young people

June 19, 2023

Major food distributor and wholesaler Hunt’s Food Group, based in Sherborne with several sites across Somerset, is partnering with Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) and Dorset Community Foundation to launch the Hunt’s Food Group Community Fund. The new charitable giving fund will build on the company’s longstanding commitment to supporting local communities and charities and is guided by three strategic themes to help meet local need: relieving poverty and disadvantage; improving mental health and wellbeing; and investing in the next generation.

The Fund has just awarded its first grants totalling over £130,000, supporting five charities across Somerset and Dorset in communities where the company’s staff live and work.

The grants, which will be awarded across the next three years, will help the charities plan for the future and invest in their core running costs, supporting them to continue their fantastic work.

The charities supported by the Hunt’s Food Group Community Fund, who were awarded £26,250 each, are:

  • St. Peter’s Community Centre, Yeovil, Somerset: to support a community hub in the Westfield district
  • Yeovil Opportunity Group, Somerset: to provide support for children with additional needs and their families
  • Escapeline: to support children in Somerset and Dorset who are affected by county lines drugs gangs
  • Countrymen UK, Sherborne, Dorset: to provide activities and opportunities in a farm environment for men who are experiencing social isolation
  • Treads, Blandford Forum, Dorset: to support disadvantaged young people to take healthy, safe and confident steps towards adulthood and independence

Laura Blake, Philanthropy Director at Somerset Community Foundation said: “We’re thrilled to have worked in partnership with the firm to create the Hunt’s Food Group Community Fund. They are truly leading the way in terms of their generous commitment to local communities, making significant financial investment in small, local charities and committing to long-term, flexible funding. We know just how much this means to the five charities benefiting from these first grants, who are fighting for funding during these tough times.”

Five people smiling at the camera

Staff from Somerset Community Foundation and Hunt’s Food Group visited Westfield Community Centre recently.

Pictured, left to right: Steve Hart, Chair of St Peter’s Community Centre; Laura Blake, Philanthropy Director at Somerset Community Foundation; Karina Quayle, Head of HR at Hunt’s Food Group; Marie Rice, Centre Manager at St Peter’s Community Centre; Richard Hunt, Chairman at Hunt’s Food Group.

Richard Hunt, Chairman at Hunt’s Food Group added: “We have a ‘support local’ focus here at Hunt’s Food Group. We’ve over 100 years of history in our local community and hope to continue this for another 100 years by providing employment, supporting local producers and giving back to communities.

“We’re delighted to have established the Hunt’s Food Group Community Fund in partnership with Somerset Community Foundation to provide long-term, strategic funding for vital local charities who work tirelessly to change lives where we live and work. We’re very proud to have recently gained our B-Corp accreditation; the Fund is part of our commitment to using our resources to benefit our wider communities, not just our shareholders.”

Marie Rice, Centre Manager at St Peter’s Community Centre in Yeovil, who received a grant for £26,250 from the fund, said: “Our plan is to continue what we started back in October with our ‘warm space’ offer. We want to keep reaching new people as well as supporting our regular community users that we’ve met over the past 6 months.

“We’re so grateful for this grant. It means we’re able to continue offering hot and cold food menus to our local community four times a week, and support our new project, the Westfield Community Pantry. And the longer-term nature of the funding means that we won’t have to worry about the staffing costs for the cook’s position; it’s safe for the next three years.”

More information about Hunt’s Food Group’s commitment to supporting local communities and charities can be found here: www.huntsfoodgroup.co.uk/socialgood

If you’d like to discuss creating a charitable fund for your business, or giving through SCF to Somerset charities, contact Laura Blake, Philanthropy Director, on 01749 344949 or email laura.blake@somersetcf.org.uk

Any community group or charitable organisation wishing to apply for funding can call Somerset Community Foundation on 01749 344949 or email: info@somersetcf.org.uk, or call Dorset Community Foundation on 01202 670815 or email: admin@dorsetcf.org.uk

Groups can also visit the Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) website where they can find guidance on how to make an application: www.somersetcf.org.uk/apply

Somerset Community Foundation is a grant-making charity that helps passionate people in Somerset change the world on their doorstep by funding local charities and inspiring local giving and philanthropy. They aim to build stronger communities in Somerset where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Through their grant-making they provide rewarding and impactful ways for donors to give through them, to the causes and places they care about most. Together, they fund amazing organisations and the passionate people that change lives every day.

Since SCF were founded in 2002 they’ve awarded over £20 million in funding, changing thousands of lives across Somerset.


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