Providing food for the community

Since lockdown happened in March, Holy Trinity Church Blacon, Chester have been a principle member of Blacon Action Team, which is a collaboration of different local organisations and agencies, operating from Holy Trinity Church Hall and also Blacon Community Store, providing food for those who are in need due to the Covid-19 emergency.  The other main stakeholders are Blacon Beacon and Blacon Community Store.  Other organisations involved and assisting with the work of BAT include:  West Cheshire Foodbank, Blacon schools, Here and Now,  Avenue Services,  Cheshire West Communities Together, Welcome Network, Chester City FC, PCSO’s, Port Grocery, and Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Together they provide a weekly bag of basic groceries, including fruit and veg, for each household.  The majority collect, during one of the four collection times each week. Those unable to collect themselves, or who do not have someone to collect for them, receive a delivery from volunteers.  There are currently 445 households registered for help from BAT.  Around two-thirds of those are families with children or teenagers.  All of them are at or below the breadline for a variety of social reasons.  Some are refugees, some are fleeing domestic violence.  Not all need help every week, although some do.  On average, food parcels to about 200 households per week and over 6,300 people have now been fed by the project.  Most collect at one of the four collection times, and we deliver to those unable to collect.

Additionally, since May,  a two-course cooked (chilled) meal has been provided for about 60 people.  These are mainly elderly, though in July & August it is hoped to extend this to families who would otherwise have been coming to Holy Trinity in the holidays for summer food and activities. 

To make this all possible, over 5,200kg of food has been donated, from a variety of sources:  Fareshare, West Cheshire Foodbank, Morrisons, Aldi, Tesco, Port Grocery, Blacon schools, West Kirby Community Store, as well as individuals.  Extra food to make up what is needed for the parcels is then purchased from wholesalers.  The cost of this is covered by generous grants from:  Westminster Foundation, The National Lottery Community Fund, Steve Morgan Foundation, Cheshire Community Foundation, Transforming Lives Together, WRAP, Tesco, Co-Op Community Fund, University of Chester. 

This all relies on a great deal of work, and aa army of about 36 volunteers that have come together to deliver this service.   Their input has been extraordinary, working very well together as a team (even though most of them did not know each other before lockdown) and the feedback from local families has been extremely positive. One family said:  ‘This has been an absolute lifeline for us, it is so appreciated what you’re all doing.  You’re doing such an amazing job, thank you form the bottom of my heart.  You’re the only people outside of my family that I talk to each week.’  

Page last updated: Monday 13th July 2020 1:36 PM
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