Financial boost for Teesside food partnership

A Teesside-based food partnership has received a financial boost after one of its sponsors provided a donation thanks to procurement consultancy Prosper’s Social Value Dividend Fund.

The Middlesbrough Food Partnership (MFP) received a donation of £10,000 from Thirteen Group as part of its commitment to reinvesting and supporting the local communities where it operates.

MFP acts as network and hub for all food-related matters in Middlesbrough, connecting people, organisations and businesses to work together to make good quality, healthy and accessible food available to all.

The partnership held the town’s second Food Summit, 24 Carrot Gold last week at Middlesbrough College to celebrate the projects, initiatives and organisations across the town, what they are doing, and what they have achieved.

The event was launched by Chris Cooke, Middlesbrough’s Elected Mayor, and Thirteen Group’s community resilience manager, Carolyn Handley. The housing association not only sponsored the event but pledged to donate the £10,000 towards the partnership’s cause.

Procurement consultancy Prosper specialises in the delivery of bespoke end-to-end procurement solutions, and issues funding annually to landlord partners from its Social Value Dividend Fund.

Rod Brasington, chief executive of Prosper, said: “The purpose of our Social Value Dividend Fund is to improve the communities we serve and enable our clients to invest this money into projects and initiatives which best suit their needs.

“The Middlesbrough Food Partnership is a really exciting project, and one which will benefit the whole community and it’s great to see Thirteen Group reinvest our funding into this worthy cause. I’m looking forward to seeing how the project develops over the coming months.”

Carolyn Handley from Thirteen Group, added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Middlesbrough Food Partnership and supporting the important work it continues to carry out across Teesside to raise awareness of eating good quality, healthy food that is easy to buy, offers value for money and is produced locally.”

Joe Dunne, senior projects manager at Middlesbrough Environment City and chair of the Middlesbrough Food Partnership, said: “This funding is vitally important to help support those groups and organisations that are working directly with communities across the town. The groups and organisations know their communities the best, and we are delighted that Thirteen and Prosper are behind our approach of being guided by them about how best to spend small grants to make a big difference to people when it comes to accessing good food.”

The amount of funding awarded to landlords is based on the procurement spend with Prosper of each landlord partner, enhanced by the addition of a proportion of any surplus Prosper generates. The landlord is free to allocate the dividend spend to Social Value initiatives which best suit the unique needs of their communities.

Prosper has supported Thirteen Group on a number of procurement frameworks including the retrofit pilot and contractor framework and last year, awarded the landlord £108,097.

Since Middlesbrough’s first Food Summit in 2017, the town became one of a few locations to achieve the Sustainable Food Places Silver Award and has become a front-runner in healthy and sustainable food.

Main image: (Left to right) Carolyn Handley, community resilience manager, Thirteen Group; Joe Dunne, senior projects manager at Middlesbrough Environment City and Chair of the Middlesbrough Food Partnership; and Tim Jennett, head of strategy and governance at Prosper

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