Our small team have made an amazing 146 shops and food deliveries over the past 6 months, supporting 20 of our families who needed food support during Corona Virus Lockdown. It has been a privilege to support families in this way, and much appreciated by the families:
“Thank you so much for all the support throughout the difficult times, it made a big difference”
“Thank you for all the help that you gave us during the most difficult times, the children are finally back at school, hopefully things can only get better from now on, thank you again”.
Thank you to all our supporters who responded to our emergency appeal to help us provide food support, raising a fantastic £1,630. We so appreciate your generosity which in turn enabled us be there and extend provision for some of our most vulnerable families. We offered food support for a 6 month period, starting with the National Lockdown in March and finishing the first week in September, to coincide with the return of children to schools. This should relieve some of the food and shopping pressure, with children receiving hot meals at school, and single parents having opportunity to go shopping without small children.
We communicated with all our families at the beginning of lockdown, and followed up families identified as vulnerable regularly by phone to provide emotional support, as many were anxious and to check they were able to access food. This enabled us to identify those who additional health concerns who were shielding to different degrees, and those with financial concerns, where jobs had been lost or furloughed. For those on minimum wage the furlough scheme was not enough and there was often a gap of a few weeks following application for access to universal credit.
Families have needed support to different degrees and for different lengths of time, as some needed support for only a short time until benefits accessed or were able to return to work and others for longer where shielding. We have also been able to help some families access the school vouchers The graphs below show the distribution of deliveries and their value.
We have sought to partner with other local food provisions, notably Frampton Park Food Bank who provided hampers which we delivered to Hackney families in need on Friday afternoons, Newham Food Banks and River Christian Church who were able to deliver to some of our families living near them and Foodchain another HIV charity, liaising with Homerton hospital. We prioritised providing food and essentials requested, along with fresh food, along with fruit and vegetables that are harder to access from many foodbanks, and important for children and people living with HIV to strengthen the immune system, sourcing much of the fruit and vegetables from our local market making it more cost effective.
We are now taking a break from offering regular food provision, but will continue to help families on an individual basis as needed where people are self-isolating for 14 days and will review our capacity to offer wider support again if we go back into lockdown. We are also offering help to those who may benefit from setting up online shopping and deliveries, but don’t have the technical knowledge to do this.
Thank you to team and a couple of volunteers, who have gone above and beyond to provide this support which is labour intensive to provide and again to the many who have donated financially to make it possible.
"A big thanks to you and your team for your support, God bless you all"