Council boosts local foodbanks with fresh produce

Wednesday 3 June 2020

More than half a ton of fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and bread have been purchased and sent directly to food banks using money from the Council’s £20k fund for food support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This is the first of seven confirmed orders that will be delivered every fortnight to boost food bank supplies.

Car-loads of food are being ferried around the borough by Council staff and volunteers, using the Mayor’s electric car which would otherwise be left unused during lockdown. We put go-pros on our dedicated volunteers and staff to get a first-hand view of the way food is being transported around the borough to food banks.

The new order of fresh food is being sent directly to the food banks who support hundreds of residents each week. Additionally, the Council continues to provide food received from City Harvest every week directly to the foodbanks across the borough.

Staff and volunteers can sign up for Council Food Safety Training - a new programme to make sure everyone serving communities is clued up on hygiene and allergy awareness. More than 100 people from eight organisations have already signed up.

Cllr Anne Cyron, Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Lead Member for Communities, said: “We’re constantly asking ourselves how the Council can improve the procurement, transport and support surrounding our various food offers available to residents. The work undertaken by volunteers and Council staff every single day is truly remarkable and we want to make sure we’re doing our bit to ensure they can safely do theirs.”

As well as supporting the food banks directly, over 300 residents are being supported by the Council’s Under 65 food referral process, which ensures that residents aged below 65 who are impacted by Coronavirus have access to emergency food supplies. Eligible residents who are self-isolating or in need of short-term support due to recent unemployment or loss of income can get food deliveries through the scheme.

Self-referrals can be made to this service by completing the online referral form or by calling 020 7361 3937.

Those aged over 65 are being supported by the Council and AgeUK. You can get more information from Age UK Kensington & Chelsea by calling 020 8969 9105.

If you have concerns about food during the pandemic and think you could use some support, visit the Council’s Coronavirus portal for information on help available to you.

To contact the Council’s Coronavirus Hub, email C19Hub@rbkc.gov.uk or call 020 7361 4326. Lines are open seven days a week from Monday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm.