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More than 5,000 people receive food parcels during pandemic

One Food parcel, containing: apples, bananas and oranges.
A second Food parcel, containing: cauliflower, kale and baked beans. Published Thursday, 30th July 2020

More than 5,000 people have been helped through the County Council’s food support programme during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Over 500 catering packs have been provided so far, and each pack has enough food to help feed 10 people for 1 week.

425 food parcels, containing 1 week’s supply, have been supplied to individuals who have needed help as they couldn’t get food themselves and were not receiving shielded support from Central Government. 

To meet urgent calls for help, the Council has also sent out 420 emergency food packs during the pandemic.

Councillor Karen May, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Transformation and Commissioning said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the effort that has gone into making sure those in Worcestershire who need it have access to the essentials during the pandemic, and our food parcels operation has played a huge part in this. 

Our partnership working has been fantastic though and community spirit created during the Here2Help campaign has been something we can look back on with pride for many years to come.” 

The Lakeview Café at County Hall has been converted into a food distribution hub, and staff have been providing food deliveries to food banks and street kitchens as they have struggled to get the food that they need to meet the demand.

One of the local projects who benefitted from the food support programme has been the Bromsgrove Basement Project. 
Jackie Hooper, from the Bromsgrove Basement Project, said: We were extremely pleased to be offered this help from the County Council. The weekly deliveries from the county enabled us to add much needed fresh produce to our food parcels. 

Items such as milk, butter, cheese, potatoes and eggs. This meant we were providing anyone who was either struggling financially or through the need to isolate, with substantial groceries to support them during the height of the shut down.”

Henry Watts, Managing Director, Atalian Servest Catering, said: "We are really proud to have been part of this initiative, ensuring the local communities in Worcestershire can access essential food during the pandemic. When we were approached with the idea we wanted to make sure we could be as involved as much as possible, reaching out to our suppliers to secure ingredients for the parcels, packing and then sending for delivery. 
We want to add our thanks to our catering team, who have been amazing over the period, volunteering their time to help with the packing of the parcels. It has been an exceptional effort between all those involved; we’ve delivered food to over 5,000 people, ensuring those most affected by COVID-19 are able to access warm, nutritious meals."

The Servest team who usually work in the cafés on the County Council sites at County Hall and Wildwood have done the packing and County Enterprises have helped with the deliveries.

The packs have allowed their recipients to maintain access to fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, and maintain a healthy diet.