Free food parcels for needy
A HELPLINE has been set up for Staple Hill and Mangotsfield residents who are struggling to afford basic food supplies during the coronavirus outbreak.
Ward councillor Michael Bell announced details of the free food parcels service for people in crisis and has also appealed for donations from residents to support it.
The service is a partnership between the Staple Hill Community Hub, the Staple Hill Salvation Army and the Staple Hill & Mangotsfield ward councillors.
The helpline will be staffed between midday and 5pm on Mondays and between 10am and 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Messages can be left at other times.
Food parcels can be picked up from the Salvation Army on Broad Street on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 11am and midday.
Anyone who is unable to leave their home can have a parcel delivered.
The helpline number is 07434 737512 and the service can also be reached by email at email@example.com or via a message to the Staple Hill Community Hub Facebook page.
The organisers said in a statement: “This service will operate whilst we are living through this health crisis. It will not be operational after this time.”
Donations of long-life food such as tins and packets to help support the service can be dropped off at the Salvation Army on Broad Street at the times listed above or at the Bean Tree Cafe in Page Park while it is open.
Meanwhile the Resound Foodbank in Blackhorse Road has said the COVID-19 crisis is expected to place increased pressure on foodbanks, with an increase in demand expected.
The organisers said: “Our priority, as it has always been, will be to support those with short term problems due to financial difficulties and not issues related directly to CV-19.”
Resound has updated its shopping list for donors, which now includes: tinned vegetables, mushrooms, meatballs or vegetable curry; boxes or drums of mashed potato; coffee; tinned minced beef or stews; rice; pasta sauce sachets; boxed soup; shampoo; deodorants; shaving foam; soap; washing-up liquid.
Donations can be made at the foodbank between 10am and noon every Friday and there is a permanent collection point at Sainsbury’s in Emersons Green.