Service Updates – July 2020

Updates to our service From 1st July 2020

We have provided food help using surplus and donated foods since 18 March from our foodbank and soup kitchen. You can read more about our work so far in our recent update here

We know lockdown is easing and shops are reopening but we know you may still want and need our help. We wanted to let you know about some important changes and let you know how we will continue to support you beyond lockdown.

FOODBOXES

We want to inform you that sadly, from 1st September, we will stop providing FREE food boxes. This is because the boxes were a response to the pandemic and lockdown. Now this is easing, it is expected that you will now be able to get to shops and get food supplies.

Until 1 September we aim to deliver boxes between Thursday and Monday of each week. Please be fair to volunteer drivers. Tell us if you are not home Thursday to Monday, so we try to come on a day when you are home. We cannot offer timed slots as deliveries depend on volunteer availability.

Please let us know by Monday of the week before if you want to unsubscribe from boxes (at least 1 clear week’s notice) so food does not go to waste.

If any items come to you in the box that you do not eat for allergy or religious (kosher/halal) reasons, please let us know and either return when we next come or give them away (all boxes are packed the same)

If you move home, please send an email, reregister, or send us an SMS. Please do not wait till we come to deliver to find out.

In the meantime, until 1 September when food boxes stop, if you need more help on top of the food boxes, please let us know things are rough, we will send you more help, but we can only do that once in any week.

FOOD BANK

  • From 1st August we can only help you if you register with us and when you register we can only provide food help packages once a month. We know this is disappointing, but our emergency help services are not meant to replace shopping for your own food or be your main food supply.
  • We want to give you the best support we can, and If you still need help weekly, we offer 15 dry food items and we will include 2 fruit and vegetable items (if available) at a cost of £5 a week delivered to you between Thursday and Monday. This fee will pay a little toward our running costs. We hope you agree that this is fair.  
  • You will need to register and arrange to make a £15 payment monthly by direct debit if you want weekly food drops from 1st September. We will start accepting registration from the 10th of August on our website. You can cancel or skip weeks you subscribe but you will need to tell us 2 weeks in advance.
  • We will not charge seniors and those who are disabled for weekly food bank supplies.

COOKED MEALS / SOUP KITCHEN

We offer cooked packed meals using a priority system. As lockdown has eased, we have reduced our cooking service and increased our dry food stock to help you move to normalcy.

Up until 1st of June, we cooked an average of 100 meals every day including weekends. Since 1 June, we have scaled this service down to 2 days a week, once midweek and once at the weekend.

  • We cook about 250-300 meals a week and we prioritise elders, those who are disabled, sick, very vulnerable and cannot cook or have no cooking facilities on Wednesday and Saturday.
  • If you are not elderly, sick, disabled or very vulnerable and you have a cooker, you will only get cooked meals if we have extra meals on a first come first serve basis at  £5 for 3 packed meals. This small charge will help us cover the cost of preparing the meals and contribute toward keeping the meals going for our elders.
  • You will need to tell us on a Monday if you want us to help you with cooked meals and we can only help you if we have extra and only once a week unless you are sick, elderly, disabled or very vulnerable.
  • Unless we already have you on our priority list we cannot supply meals if you do not tell us you need cooked food every Monday.
  • We continue to be available to help and support to public service and health service staff. We prioritise supply of meals to police, fire, ambulance, rescue and healthcare staff including COVID support workers who are working hours where cooked meal access is difficult or limited. If you are a team leader simply contact us or send a text, and we will respond quickly.

We hope you will join us in applauding our volunteer drivers who deliver over 300 parcels every week giving up their spare time and braving the dangers and the elements to get to you, our cook who has cooked over 8,000 meals since the beginning of lockdown and between that all of us at Action Force spending time getting food supplies and getting food packs ready.

For us, lockdown has been locking down our energy into keep helping neighbours and we are thankful we can help a little.

We want to keep providing the help we provide, and we are confident that together we can beat this pandemic and limit food poverty in Luton.

If you have an emergency, we cannot always respond the same day. We evaluate all requests and balance this with volunteer availability. We always inform you if we can come and come as soon as we can.

Please let us know what you think of our service. Search “Action Force Community Group” on Facebook and leave us a review or follow @ActionForceCG on Twitter and or instagram.