It’s been a little while since we stopped to update everyone and that’s mainly because we have all been adjusting to increased work and home duties and increased demand for our services.
We remain thankful to all the local businesses that have supported us through this critical time. We are also grateful that all of our team have consistently supported our overall goals going out in all weather and attimes unsociable hours to get food help to those who need it the most. Go Team Action Force!!
We have some unique circumstances in Luton, with the highest job losses across the country due to the airport closure and reduced workforces in social and leisure services and while it explains our food help demand levels It also highlights the imbalances in government response to areas where there are large pockets of people from minority ethnicities
Many people are out of work with limited hope of returning, it is very likely many high street local business will downsize or not reopen due to economic decline and as you may have read from our local council leader, airport funding for many key services has vanished and with nominal funding from the government, more job cuts loom.
We forsee an increase in hardship as we go along which will increase demand moreso as the most popular foodbank offerings we have are means tested. Beyond this and importantly, government food boxes will stop on 1st of August and our own food boxes supplied by our food partner will also end on 1st September. We have put contingencies in place to manage this and will continue to support our community as sustainably as we can.
We have noted that elders who are listed as living with family were excluded from a better access to help as were a number of people who were advised to shield but not notified by NHS letter. Additionally many who have no recourse to public funds, zero hours contract workers and Independent and foreign students in education are uncertain of the future.
As you may know we deliver cooked packed meals Using surplus and donated foods and in this respect, we found that the government response was very “standard” and in an attempt to catch all and meet basic needs it did not consider those who may be unable to cook, those with allergies and inclusion of variety to support ethnic variations in diet and offer nutritional balance for those already immunocompromised or immunosuppressed.
Many of these individuals who were dependent on family support, community centres and other sources have struggled to afford or access prepared meals from stores and indeed many supermarkets still struggle to provide slots and limit food purchases.
Finally there are significant numbers who did not have information and still do not have information in a format that is clear and understandable or in a language they can read and these are the lost ones in between who have no idea where to even get food or help.
We also have concerns for those who are in temporary accommodation such as hotels and hostels often with no access to cooking or reheating facilities or food storage. Some are at risk of returning to live on the street, many have an enduring food need.
Each week in May and June we have delivered
1. Non means tested Foodboxes containing emergency supplies 6 -8 dry food items and 4 fruit, vegetables or treats eg chocolate, sweets, snacks,bread and milk
We deliver these boxes to an average of 155 families every week
2. We deliver food parcels usually made up for family size containing fruit and veg, bread, milk, toiletries and 8 dry food items per adult per day, 4 dry food items per child per day and give enough for 4 days
Week 1 – 55 parcels
Week 2 – 69
Week 3 – 48
Week 4 – 50
Week 5 – 44
Week 1 – 40
Week 2 – 39
Week 3 – 39
Week 4 – 41
We do cooked packed meals and supply is focussed on those without cooking facilitied or with mobility or predisposition to health factors that make it difficult to move about and cook and those who are isolated and or without access to public resources that have conditions that blur their perceptions of time or place we have cooked about 270-290 meals each week in these two months to date
We dropped meals to the following no. of families
Week 1 – 41
Week 2 – 40
Week 3 – 39
Week 4 – 35
Week 5 – 42
Week 1 – 42
Week 2 – 39
Week 3 – 36
Week 4 – 43
beyond this we routinely drop around 20-30 parcels of bread, milk, fruit and vegetables to our clients as and when we obtain them. We have been able to keep waste to a minimum and we are continuing to develop ideas to keep using surplus food.