Call for help to provide food & essentials for most vulnerable

Jaq Bayles March 22, 2020

Brighton & Hove Food Partnership is calling for help to raise £15,000 for essential food, packaging and toiletries for vulnerable & isolated people in Brighton & Hove during the coronavirus crisis.

The organisation said: “Across the city, 21 food banks and emergency food providers have been distributing more than 20,000 food parcels a year to people living in poverty, with an increasing number of families and working people using these services. Our research shows that many more people are in need but have been unwilling or unable to access food banks.

“Over the past few weeks, many local residents have lost their previous income and many older and vulnerable people have been advised to self-isolate at home for up to 12 weeks. The existing food bank model of people collecting parcels could now put people at risk at a time when demand will be higher than it has ever been.

“Food banks and many low-cost community meals depend on surplus food but there is not sufficient supply during this critical time. Well-meaning donations of food by members of the public also run the risk of spreading the virus.”

The group said it now needs to start buying some food and other essentials – largely wholesale/ in bulk – to meet demand, and all funds raised on its JustGiving page will pay for food, toiletries and packaging so it can:

* source food and other essential items (eg soap, toiletries) to distribute to people in poverty who are unable to leave their homes

* cook & package healthy bulk meals which can be distributed to people in poverty who are unable to leave their homes and families eligible for free school meals

* create a new model of distribution, with neighbourhood hubs (eg local school kitchens and children’s centres) where volunteers can pick-up parcels & meals to deliver to people in their community

* ensure all deliveries are made safely with no physical contact, but offering a chance for social connection where possible, and linking people to other support services

* recruit, train and support existing and new volunteers who will need to work to very high standards of food safety & hygiene

The Food Partnership is coordinating this appeal on behalf of all the key organisations working on these issues in Brighton & Hove: Fareshare, the Real Junk Food Project, the Bevy, Chomp and all the local food banks and key referral & equalities organisations (including Lunch Positive, Voices in Exile, the Clare Project).

For anyone interested in volunteering, please see information on the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership website.