More local organisations have stepped up to support Wirral’s emergency food operation and ensure that vulnerable residents get the food they need during the current COVID-19 lockdown.
Within days of the latest national lockdown being announced, Wirral Council and Wirral Foodbank joined forces to get the borough’s Emergency Food Hub up-and-running again, with more than 350 food boxes delivered to local people in need in the first week alone.
Other local organisations have now come onboard to help ensure the emergency food meets more of the individual needs of vulnerable residents, including:
- Age UK Wirral and community support charity Rapid Response North West, who are leading on fulfilling requests from vulnerable people who require a specialist diet such as diabetic or vegan.
- Wirral Change, a local charity which works with and supports people from Wirral’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, will once again put together and deliver emergency hampers where there is a request for specific international or culturally-appropriate food items. Clint Agard of Wirral Change is pictured in the photographs that accompany this article.)
- Wirral Development Trust (WDT) and the Prima Group are working together to help support vulnerable residents across Leasowe, providing vouchers to spend at the local social supermarket based at Leasowe Play, Youth & Community Centre, and by putting together emergency food parcels from the social supermarket if the resident is unable to leave home to shop for themselves.
Neo Community also bring their considerable experience to the emergency food operation by leading on the logistics of bulk food purchasing of fresh and chilled produce for the Emergency Food Hub.
Although partners bring different expertise or community connections, the process for accessing urgent food help remains the same; applications will continue to be made through the centralised system and co-ordinated by the Emergency Food Hub. Where the request includes a particular dietary need, or comes from a household in the Leasowe area, it will be passed on for the appropriate partners to arrange and deliver.
The Leader of Wirral Council, Councillor Janette Williamson, said: “As we have seen throughout the COVID-19 crisis, local organisations and community groups have come together to play a vital role supporting local people through these incredibly difficult times. Once again, they have come forward to help some of our most vulnerable residents and make sure they get the help they need.”
All emergency food support – whether provided directly by the Emergency Food Hub, through the Council’s Financial Support with Welfare Needs Scheme or via local partners – can only be provided to the most vulnerable households who cannot pay for the food they need.
A wide range of other support is available for vulnerable residents who are able to pay for their food. This includes priority supermarket delivery slots, which are offered to people who are vulnerable because of COVID-19 or clinically extremely vulnerable. People who must self-isolate because they have COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has contracted the virus can also apply for the priority slots.
People in need of support are also encouraged to visit the Wirral Infobank website, which provides information on a wide range of local services, including help with shopping, social supermarkets (offering cut price food) and hot food deliveries.
A number of local organisations can also help people who can pay for their food but are unable to get to the shops themselves; please call the Coronavirus helpline on 0151 666 5050 to discuss the options available.
To apply for emergency food support or a priority supermarket delivery slot, please call Wirral’s Coronavirus helpline on 0151 666 5050 or complete the short online application.