Over 1,000 households in Croydon have now received food parcels or financial support and advice from a partnership between the council, community and local volunteers in response to COVID-19.
Since the government issued guidance for all but key workers to stay at home, Croydon Council and partners have been packing and distributing food parcels to hundreds of residents, both those on an NHS list of medically vulnerable people and other at-risk residents needing emergency deliveries.
Volunteers from dozens of organisations across the borough, co-ordinated by Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA), have also been sourcing pallets of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy produce and non-perishable items, plus ready and hot meals. These are for inclusion in deliveries to people in need identified via local groups and the council.
Any Croydon resident who receives an NHS letter confirming they are on the list of so-called shielded or medically vulnerable people will receive a food parcel once they have self-registered via the government’s GOV.UK website and been confirmed as a priority.
Anyone not on the NHS shielded list but who is a safeguarding priority receives council help with either supermarket e-vouchers to spend themselves or, if they cannot leave home, a food parcel will be delivered to them. The council is also working in close partnership with Croydon Voluntary Action to help local people who are struggling due to COVID-19.
Council support provided to date for residents affected by COVID-19 restrictions includes:
• £11,000 in grants for 175 people assessed as needing e-vouchers, gift cards or cash for food
• Advice for over 850 residents needing help with benefits
• 140 packages for families at risk of poverty identified by social care and education teams
• Over 50 emergency food parcels for anyone who has either not received a government parcel or cannot get shopping delivered
• Arranging donations of thousands of jars of baby food
• Guidance to schools on offering pupils catered meals or hampers, vouchers or support packs
“Over the last fortnight we have seen hundreds of council officers and community partners, including many incredible local volunteers, put in a phenomenal combined effort to feed Croydon people in urgent need, and I want to thank them.
“Whether it’s sourcing donations, providing grants or delivering parcels, their work now and over the coming weeks and months will continue to make a real difference to residents whose support networks and finances have been hit by COVID-19.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services
Residents at high risk needing urgent support with food, medicine or other requirements should call the council’s contact centre on 0208 604 7787 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need help affording your household bills, including shopping, email: email@example.com
If you need support or you are struggling to access food or essential supplies, you can get local support from community organisations via Croydon Voluntary Action.
For more on the council’s Food Stop partnership with local churches and groups, email: firstname.lastname@example.org