The Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant hardship to people across the Diocese leaving many members of our community unable to buy food and sanitary necessities for themselves and their wider family. Our free Supermarket Voucher Scheme has helped more 1,000 families, and 100 individuals so far, providing essential items for over 3,000 children and over 2,000 adults living in or at risk of poverty.
To date, 48 parishes and 46 schools have participated, supplying free Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury or Tesco supermarket vouchers to people in need across our school and parish communities. The voucher scheme is ongoing and is available to people of all faiths or none. Could you or someone you know benefit from supermarket voucher support?
- Over 50% of the families helped have been from low-income households.
- 18% had lost work due to the pandemic with 4% experiencing reduction in their income due to shielding or having to isolate.
- 8% had been very badly affected by the loss of Free School Meals.
Diocesan Catholic Schools and parishes have been invaluable, helping us to administer the initiative to people and families in their communities. Speaking about the scheme, Ms Claire Jarman, the Principal at Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove said:
‘Whilst no-one was left untouched by this pandemic, some families have had more challenges than others. Families have told us how appreciative they are to have their stress alleviated, safe in the knowledge they can put food on their table.’
St Richard’s Catholic College in Bexhill have distributed hundreds of vouchers since the scheme began last year. A representative from the college said:
‘I think this has been such a wonderful scheme. We are so grateful for this blessing’.
Does your Catholic school or parish know someone in need?
We expect the scheme to run until July 2021, or until the funds have depleted. Getting involved in the scheme is completely free and doesn’t take long to administer. Our Fundraising Officer is on hand to help parishes and schools with any questions they might have and can guide you through what’s involved, you can contact them here. The scheme is free, download the documents below to find out how your school or parish can get involved.