Student entrepreneurs tackling community impact of COVID-19 set-up initiatives to distribute surplus food and PPE supplies

Student entrepreneurs awarded @Ford Fund grants to support projects tackling community impact of COVID-19 

  • Ford Motor Company Fund has awarded more than £13,000 to support student-led innovative projects in nine countries including two winning UK teams
  • The University of Southampton’s project, Future Brew, partners with local supermarkets to collect surplus products and deliver food packages to homeless shelters and low-income families
  • The University of Nottingham’s project, Foodprint, uses a donated Ford Transit to deliver food and PPE supplies to at-risk groups, including the Nottinghamshire Hospice

Ford Motor Company Fund has donated £13,000 to two student entrepreneur groups to support their projects tackling the widespread impact of COVID-19 on their local communities.

Working with its global partner Enactus, the Ford COVID-19 College Challenge asked student-led teams to submit proposals for how they would address pressing needs faced by their local communities in the wake of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Two UK winners were among the chosen proposals. The University of Southampton’s project, Future Brew, takes its name from the not-for-profit enterprise’s use of waste bread to make beer. In wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, they have adapted their program to now collect other surplus produce, such as fruit and vegetables, for distribution to homeless shelters and a local community shop.

The University of Nottingham’s Foodprint enterprise also collects surplus food destined to landfill towards those experiencing food poverty. To widen the groups they are able to support during the pandemic, they are now delivering food and PPE to the local hospice who have experienced a vast decrease in donations while their charity shops are closed. They are making their deliveries in a Ford Transit kindly donated by the Transit Van Club. They are supplying 9 food banks, homeless shelters and food parcel providers each week, and reaching up to 850 people. They are also working with two retirement villages and supporting 51 residents.

Enactus Nottingham team leader Farah Ravat said: “Our Foodprint team would like to say a huge thank you to Ford Fund in supporting our project focused on alleviating the pressures key-workers are under during this difficult time.”

Debbie Chennells, Ford Fund Manager in Europe, added: “The Ford Fund has been honoured to support the student-led social enterprises, Foodprint and Future Brew, through our signature Ford College Community Challenge program. To now see how these enterprises have quickly and creatively adapted to support the local community during this pandemic is incredible. They are worthy winners of the COVID-19 challenge.”

The Ford College Community Challenge, known as Ford C3, is Ford Fund’s signature Social Enterprise programme, and has worked since 2008 to provide support for university student social entrepreneurs as they work to build more sustainable communities. Over the past six years, Ford Fund has worked with Enactus to bring Ford C3 to Enactus students in 10 markets around the globe, supporting more than 2,500 students in launching 190 social enterprises that have had a positive social impact on over 200,000 people. In the UK, Ford C3 has provided over £100,000 in grant donations to student-led enterprises since its launch in 2016.

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