Many people have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as the obvious terrible health impacts, people have lost jobs and have found it hard to find the money to buy food. Increasingly people are relying on foodbanks, charities that provide food to those who cannot afford enough to avoid hunger.

At the same time, the pandemic meant that many of the food bank collection points at churches, chapels and other community venues have had to be closed. This has meant food bank donations decreased significantly, and food stocks were not being replenished at the rate needed. Energy cooperatives have been some of the first groups to heed the call and support those most vulnerable during this difficult period.

Over the last year, the UK-based cooperative Midcounties opened a fund to support food banks, enabling 100,000 products to be donated to food banks across its Food Stores and providing meals to over 2,500 families in need.

In April 2020, Midcounties Co-op opened a new fund and called on members, customers and the wider community to support food banks. The cooperatives Westmill Solar and Westmill Wind Farm, members of Community Energy England and Energy4All, decided to respond to this call.

As part of a wider community effort, the coops provided £1,000 (£500 each) towards this fund, supplementing the product donations already being made by its members and its customers.

About Westmill Wind Farm & Westmill Solar

Westmill Wind Farm Co-op was established in 2004 to build and operate a community-owned wind farm at Westmill Farm in Oxfordshire. In 2012, Westmill Solar Cooperative was formed to manage a 5MW solar farm, believed to be the first collectively owned solar farm in the UK.

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