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Find out what food help is available in your community

Find out what food help is available in your community

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 4:19pm 27th May 2020.

Residents needing help and advice on getting food during the pandemic can find key information on what support is available in their communities on Cornwall Council’s website.

The expanded section at www.cornwall.gov.uk/helpwithfood includes information on supermarket deliveries, food parcels for those who are shielding, how to contact volunteers for help with shopping, how to pay for food and accessing money if you have to stay at home, free school meals, and advice for food businesses. 

“We have seen some incredible work in our communities during this difficult time, from the voluntary groups to the foodbanks to the many volunteers and drivers who are helping residents with food shopping through Volunteer Cornwall. We also want to thank everyone who has donated food to foodbanks, key workers and even their neighbours. Our new food section on our website highlights just how much help is available locally. We continue to support our shielded residents in giving advice and emergency food parcels if needed and we are also working with government to support vulnerable people in getting the food that they need.”

             Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s Portfolio Holder for climate change and neighbourhoods

Topics include:

·      How to access help with food shopping. Volunteer Cornwall has 3,600 volunteers throughout Cornwall. Email requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk or phone 01872 266988.

·      Supermarkets which are prioritising deliveries to those most in need, including elderly or more vulnerable people, with some offering special opening hours for key workers or elderly shoppers.

·      Ideas on supporting the local food industry such as independent shops, farm shops, community shops and wholesalers, some of which are running delivery services.

·      Information on other community support including Cornwall Link and details of 18 foodbanks across Cornwall.

·      Shielding advice for residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 and unable to leave their homes, including on how to access weekly Government food parcels and any additional help.

·      Guidance on how schools are providing meals for children on benefits-related Free School Meals and Pupil Premium either through supplying meals, food parcels or supermarket vouchers.

·      Support for food businesses including grants and guidance on regulations for food deliveries and takeaways.

·      Ideas for anyone wishing to help others with food through volunteering, including tips from Cornwall Council’s Community Toolkit. Food charities can apply for funding from either the Cornwall Community Foundation, Cornwall Council’s Community Chest Crisis Scheme or through the Government's Food Charities Grant Fund.

“Food is one of the fundamentals for life, and so it is no surprise that people can quickly and understandably become very anxious if they do not know where the next meal is coming from. So helping to provide that security is vital. I am heartened to see and hear about the many initiatives that people are getting involved in to help others at this time of need - from the volunteers shopping for others who may be shielding or otherwise vulnerable, to those working in food banks and other projects, such as The Hive. And we must not forget those key workers who are going out to work in food production and shops, and who at times may well have fears for their own safety and for that of their families. Our thanks must surely go to them all. I would also ask people to please think about their local food banks and to do what they can to support them - they are in need of your donations at this time of crisis, as much as ever.”

             The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen

Simon Fann, Truro Foodbank manager, said: “The current COVID situation has affected not just the health of people living in the Truro area but also their employment and income, with resultant impact on family life.  

“We thank all the people who donated food to us in the Foodbank donation bins, all the people who have made a financial donation, all the volunteers that come in to Foodbank to help with sorting and distributing food, supermarket managers and British Gas for their support, and Volunteer Cornwall for all the wonderful help given by their volunteers.”

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and MP for Camborne and Redruth, George Eustice, said: “We know this is a really difficult time for a lot of people in Cornwall, but I want local residents to know that support is available. If you are struggling to get the necessary food supplies, please don’t be afraid to ask for help.

“It has been humbling to see how people across the county have come together to help each other. I’m immensely grateful for the work that Cornwall Council and others across the county are doing to make sure that people are able to get food and other essential supplies

“From charities and community groups to our local food industry heroes, working on our farms, in our stores and making deliveries - we are all in this together. The government will continue to support the tremendous efforts being made right across Cornwall.”

Want to know more?

Find out more at www.cornwall.gov.uk/helpwithfood

If you are a vulnerable person who has explored these options, but have been unable to obtain a food delivery, please get in touch with Cornwall Council on 0300 1231118 or email covid19@cornwall.gov.uk

If you meet the criteria to get support from the NHS Volunteer Responders programme and don’t have friends and family to help, you can also get assistance in accessing food, prescriptions and essential items. You need to call 0808 196 3646 and give your name, address, phone number and the details of your GP. You will then be put in touch with volunteers in your area who can go to the shops on your behalf. A carer or family member can also call on your behalf. 

The Food Standards Agency provides advice on producing food safely for community purposes including advice on allergens, labelling and safe production. To avoid food waste, anyone donating food is advised to speak to the recipient first.

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