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