During the immediate Covid crisis we adapted to meet the needs of the times by delivering emergency food parcels to people at risk of hunger.
Mostly because they were already on the breadline and Covid brought extra pressures which tipped them over the edge.
SUPPORTING THROUGH COVID
At the height of the pandemic we were delivering boxes containing a balanced range of food including fruit, vegetables and snacks for children to over 530 households (around 1,200 people) each week. Our chefs cooked surplus food from Fare Share and supermarkets into individual meal sizes which were frozen and sent out with the food boxes.
“Receiving the food parcels has been lovely and humbling. The parcels are so “thought out”. All my 3 children got a kinder chocolate egg each. It’s got a bit of everything, from fresh veg to some fruit to yogurts. I feel I can feed my kids sensible food and they are not going hungry. It’s bigger than just sustaining you. It does not feel like a handout, you don’t make us feel like we are “scroungers”.
What does food poverty feel like?
We wanted to know more about the lives of the people we delivered to. So we had in-depth conversations with people receiving food parcels and learned more about the pandemic’s psychological cost. Social isolation, uncertainty, anxiety and fear of the future were common themes.
Poverty is an all-consuming, stressful and debilitating experience. It rocks everything in your life if you are always fighting against hunger. This is particularly acute if you have children because there is little margin for waste.
As a result of what we learned we have developed the Social Supermarket as a response to food poverty that offers choice, dignity, volunteering opportunities and and social contact. In many way the Social Supermarket takes what we learning in TimeBuilders and applies it to the entrenched poverty experienced by many people in our communities. Through no fault of their own.