A Charity based in Leicestershire has made its 3,000th food box delivery to individuals and families suffering extreme hardship because of COVID-19 during the lockdown.
John Storer Charnwood, based in Loughborough, has been leading in the Charnwood borough’s coronavirus response since the pandemic started.
In collaboration with Charnwood Borough Council and Charnwood Food Poverty Group under the umbrella of Charnwood Community Action, the charity has been delivering hundreds of food parcels per week, which contain supplementary provisions to enable households to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner, each day.
Due to demand for the service, the Loughborough based Randal Charitable Foundation has recently provided a £10,000 grant, which will supplement food parcels for 1,000 individuals for a further 10 weeks.
A Trustee for the Foundation, which has an unwavering vision that is to save lives, help the socially disadvantaged and improve the quality of life for those in need in the UK and around the world, said:
“The coronavirus pandemic has led to many families suffering extreme hardship and unable to afford to put food on the table.
“John Storer Charnwood and partners acted very quickly and have created a remarkable service which is making sure people will not go hungry during the lockdown and ongoing shielding period. We are delighted to be able to support their excellent work.”
Many families in Charnwood have found themselves without any income due to no fault of their own because of redundancies, furloughs, suffering ill health, or financial issues around the same time that the jobs market has ground to a halt.
Charnwood Community Action receives referrals from the food poverty group, local schools, adult social care, the council and other agencies identifying people who are struggling to purchase food.
Karen Frostick, Director of John Storer Charnwood, said:
“To help make the referral process easier we have temporarily revamped our website and would like to encourage anyone in difficulty, or who knows an individual or family in difficulty, to contact us.
“At the moment we are seeing a steady increase in the number of parcels we deliver by about 10 to 15 per day, which is why we are so grateful for the kind donation from the Randal Charitable Foundation, which means we are now funded until the end of the current shielding period.
“Each parcel contains enough food for three meals a day, over a three day period. The parcels contain supplementary food such as long-life milk, tinned fruit and frozen food like pizzas and sausages. Our big message is that we are going to help people through this crisis and our next steps are to support them in building up their resilience so they can once again be self-sufficient.”
John Storer Charnwood is running the borough’s main COVID-19 response from their offices and café space, which has been converted into an emergency call centre in collaboration with the borough council, The Bridge and Fearon Community Association.
Mrs Frostick added:
“As the main response centre for the area, we have also been receiving data from central government about people on the shielding list who may need support.
“Hub staff have then been calling everyone on that list to check that they are managing during the lockdown. We are also taking calls from concerned people, which then enables us to take action if we are alerted to an individual or family that needs emergency support. Our 35 to 40 telephone befrienders are making regular calls to those who are struggling with social isolation.”
For more information on John Storer Charnwood call 01509 631750 (Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm) or visit www.johnstorercharnwood.org.uk