During the summer school holidays we were able to support over 150 people per week with food parcels, which we did based on existing funds. These were families all over Redditch and not just confined to one area.
We sprang into action again ahead of the winter. We are an organisation that exists to respond to a crisis, and so we felt it was our duty to alleviate need across Redditch. This includes people who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19, or have had pay/hours reduced, or for other reasons as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
We are currently supporting over 150 people per week again in addition to adhoc deliveries of self-isolation food parcels to those who are struggling whilst isolating. To fund our service over the winter we were granted £22,000 from government-based funds.
We operate from our base at Heming Road, which has been provided to us by Redditch Borough Council for four months, after which we must pay to rent it if we want to continue. That will be long enough to see us through the worst of winter and then we will assess as an organisation from there.
We are also using some of this money we have been granted to fund a hot meal service in partnership with other groups.
We haven’t got enough money to invest in vehicles or anything like that, so we rely on our volunteers to deliver for us. Volunteers also pick and pack the boxes.
As a charity we can only help people who are identified as being in need as a result of COVID-19. That’s why we work with groups like Redditch East Stronger Together, the Disability Support Project and Redditch Baby Bank to cross-refer to each other as needed. We are happy work with any other groups and this network is growing all the time.
We are not a permanent food bank, and there will come a time when we need to pack up our food service. We will then look at what work we can do as a charity to support people in crisis, which is what we were set up to do.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. It’s great to see community groups and people coming together to support people in need.