A local housebuilder has donated 10slow cookers to a community project helping low-income families in Bedfordshire.

Bellway Northern Home Counties – which is building new homes across Bedfordshire – provided the slow cookers to Bedford Borough’s #NoToHungerInBedfordBorough project, of which YMCA Bedfordshire Food4 community larder is a participant.

The scheme was set up to link local businesses, food banks, donors and people who need support to ensure that nobody has to go hungry this winter.

As part of the scheme, the group is asking for donations of new slow cookers, as many low-income families struggle with utility bills – and it costs just 21p in electricity to prepare a family meal with a slow cooker.

Research by the Food Foundation in September revealed that 12 per cent of UK families reported skipping meals because they could not afford or access food.

Established in 1986, YMCA Bedfordshire supports local communities through a range of services including its Food4 community larder, which is based at 3 Church Arcade via Dane Street.

Marketing and Partnerships Manager for YMCA Bedfordshire, Paul Kellett, said: “The pandemic has meant we have seen a large increase in requests for food support throughout 2020.

“We see approximately 150 households per week and deliver to a further 65 which is way more than we saw this time last year.

“One of the many ways we’re working to make sure no one goes hungry is to join with other food and support charities to offer a joined-up approach through the #NoToHungerInBedfordBorough campaign which is proving a great initiative.”

Sales Director for Bellway Northern Home Counties, Luke Southgate, said: “When we saw the call-out for slow cookers we were more than happy to help, especially as the pandemic has meant there is a greater need for support for charities such as YMCA Bedfordshire.

“We hope our donation to the #NoToHungerInBedfordBorough campaign will help to make a positive difference to the families it supports.”

To donate to the #NoToHungerInBedfordBorough project, visit oneymca.org/notohungerinbedfordborough-donate.

Bellway is building new homes in Wootton at Berry Wood, in New Cardington at Eastcotts Green and Eastcotts Place, in Bidwell at Brambleside, in Houghton Regis at Linmere, in Leighton Buzzard at Lestone Mews, and in Wixams at Brook View.

For more information on the new homes Bellway is building in Bedfordshire, visit bellway.co.uk.