Posts in Category: COVID-19 (Tackling Food Poverty - Partnership)

Well-Fed – from care home healthy meal provision to emergency food boxes (Flintshire CC) 

Well-fed is a partnership between Flintshire County CouncilClwyd Alyn and Can Cook – it is a food company dedicated to feeding everyone well. Since the COVID-19 crisis hit Well-fed has adapted its operation from supplying healthy ready meals to care homes to respond to the overwhelming need to provide emergency food in the county. Alongside healthy ready meals, the council has been delivering slow cooker bags and ‘Well-Fed safety boxes’ which were an enhancement on the Welsh Government Shielded boxes. The ‘seven day’ safety boxes were provided to those considered vulnerable, shielding for health reasons and those who needed food support for financial reasons and included a selection of ready meals, staple food items and toiletries.  

Tackling Food Poverty through the Pandemic (Swansea CC) 

At the beginning of the pandemic Swansea Council and its partners in the Health and Voluntary Sectors came together to form a coordinated response. One element of which was the establishment a working group consisting of redeployed officers from Cultural Services, Poverty and Prevention, Local Area Coordination and Swansea Council for Voluntary Service (SCVS). The Council and SCVS began to map food provision across the county to ensure that any individuals in need had access to information on where to source appropriate food. The information was provided on the Council’s website, and also via the SCVS direct signposting service, which gathered information by GP Cluster area. The Council has supported the community foodbanks throughout the pandemic, via the donations and purchased product, managed at the Food Distribution Centres, and SCVS have successfully secured FareShare deliveries for several independent food banks in the County. If there is an urgent need for food and other essentials, all individuals are linked into this network and a ‘crisis pack’ will be delivered either by the local authority or SCVS. Swansea Together, a public-third-private sector partnership between SCVS, the Local Authority, Matthew’s House, Crisis, The Wallich, Zac’s Place and Mecca Bingo has provided thousands of meals to very vulnerable people during the crisis. The partnership has been supported with advice, promotion, food supplies, volunteers and transport by both SCVS and the Local Authority.

Support for Monmouthshire’s Foodbanks during the Covid Crisis (Monmouthshire CC) 

Monmouthshire County Council work closely Trussell Trust and Ravenhouse Trust food banks in the county. At the point of lockdown many of the food bank volunteers, often elderly or at risk could no longer support the food banks directly and there were challenges of social distancing in the smaller units.  In addition, there was an increased request for food vouchers from Social Services, Sure Start and Housing Associations.  Many of the support agencies had to move to remote working which proved difficult for some to access information and support in the normal ways of working, which included the closure of the Council’s Community Hubs which was a referral method for individuals to access the food banks systems.

Together with the food banks, a number of access initiatives were established including  a digital referral system – mirroring the “voucher “details which captured all the information required by all food banks;  a cross departmental, dedicated council team working with food banks managers, acting as a liaison  between individual, agencies and transport /delivery with safeguarding measures etc.

The generous support of the Reuben Foundation provided 8 weeks of food supplies - @£32k food. Most has now been delivered but that which could not be stored locally is held at Chepstow Racecourse.

Video link of Chepstow Racecourse/Reuben Foundation and Monmouthshire County Council food banks support partnership

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NZQRnBN4eI&feature=youtu.be

Supporting Food Banks (Powys CC) 

The Powys County Council Regeneration Team, Grow in Powys helped the Powys foodbanks to manage the challenges and changes brought about by COVID19.  The team managed the Food Poverty Grant from the Welsh Government, distributed by the WLGA. The revenue grant of £11,602.08 was split between the seven food banks in Powys. The additional Capital funding grant of £13,477.00 was to support organisations access, store and distribute extra supplies of good quality food, by purchasing equipment such as freezers.

During lockdown the food banks had the funding to purchase smart phones or laptops to enable agile working. Due to the shortage of chest freezers, under the counter freezers were sourced in one case. The Llandrindod hub noted a 300% increase in demand. Cwmtawe Action to Combat Hardship could store substantial stocks of bread and baked goods in its new freezer. Through the engagement with communities in the areas of Ystradgynlais and Hay-on-Wye, additional outreach food banks were set up.

The Newtown Food Bank, funded by the Salvation Army said: “We have had to close our shop and along with it, the chance to continue raising our own funds through sales of our goods. We immediately turned to your funding to help us.”  

Using solar interest payments to support food banks (Carmarthenshire CC) 

Food banks in Carmarthenshire are being gifted £42,300 in food vouchers  will receive a share of the money in vouchers from income generated from rooftop solar panels on Carmarthenshire County Council buildings. Each food bank, which has seen a significant rise in demand since the coronavirus pandemic, will be given a list of suppliers they can obtain their goods from. The donation represents a value of approximately £70,000 for every mega-watt of solar installed, which is the highest single payment per megawatt of installed solar for any community benefit society, commercial solar farm or portfolio in the UK.

The council’s executive board member for resources and director of Egni Sir Gar Cyfyngedig an energy community benefit society established by the Council in 2015, Cllr David Jenkins, said: “Now more than ever people are having to use the foodbanks to put food on their table. It’s a challenging time for everyone as this coronavirus pandemic continues. By recycling our solar interest payment will help towards those that are struggling and cannot afford the essentials of life.”

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