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In response to the cost of living crisis, North Star is supporting community initiatives including funding community grocery projects in Hardwick, Stockton, Thornaby and Middlesbrough. Based on the success of these initiatives North Star are in discussions to extend this provision to Teesdale and North Yorkshire. The community grocery model is built on the provision of surplus food from organisations such as FareShare and deliveries of food that would otherwise be disposed of by retailers. The model gives customers choice, which foodbanks aren’t always able to, prevents food going to waste and represents a sustainable solution to food poverty.

North Star has committed £200,000 of funding to support customers who may be affected by the cost of living crisis. To date this includes:

  • Establishing a fuel voucher scheme for customers struggling to pay heating costs
  • Extended our Hardship Fund provision through a partnership with a local furniture recycling charity, FRADE, to offer affordable white goods and furniture to customers
  • A pilot that offers anxiety and mental health support to customers
  • Establishing a partnership with the Citizen Advice Bureau to offer specialist debt advice to North Star customers.

The funding is designed to be flexible and we are gathering feedback from customers to understand how the crisis is impacting so we can develop appropriate support and responses.

For more information on North Star’s Community Connection activity, look out for our Social Value Report 2021/22 which will be published in September.