East Coast College has become one of ten colleges across the country who have signed up to an initiative aimed at tackling food shortages in their communities throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Having donated vital PPE equipment to the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Norfolk Constabulary last week, the college is now focusing its attention on helping its local foodbanks in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

With financial hardship and job losses becoming a significant issue amid the pandemic, foodbanks are under pressure to help provide food and essential household items for the increasing number of people requiring their services.

With this in mind, East Coast College has joined the FE Foodbank Friday initiative – a national movement that sees colleges across the UK support their local communities through the coronavirus crisis and beyond. The college has launched a fundraising campaign on JustGiving with the aim of raising £2,000 to be split between the foodbanks in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

Stuart Rimmer, CEO and Principal of East Coast College, said: “As a college we have continually shown our support for our local foodbanks by donating food and essential household items that have been generously donated by staff and students at our campus drop-off points. However as we can no longer physically collect items to donate, we have decided to raise money to allow our foodbanks to continue operating and ensure we all can pull through this crisis together.”

The initiative was launched by London South East Colleges in partnership with FE Week, and East Coast College is the only college in Norfolk and Suffolk to sign up so far.

Sam Porter, who works for Lowestoft Foodbank, said: “The need for food banks is on the rise especially in these uncertain times. Getting help from the college will be a huge boost towards our goal of helping every person in crisis. This will make a huge difference.”

Liz Townson, the Well Distribution Centre Trustee for Great Yarmouth Foodbank Plus, added: “We appreciate all the college staff and students are doing to help. Our amazing team of staff and volunteers keep working tirelessly to make sure that the most vulnerable and families struggling financially can receive some food during this time of crisis.”

To support the college’s campaign and make a donation, visit the East Coast College JustGiving page.

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