Aaron, our Director, chairs the Wandsworth Covid Food Providers Group, part of the Wandsworth Food Partnership. Here he discusses their plans for the second lockdown.
The Wandsworth Covid Food Providers Group is made up of 30+ local charities, community and faith groups and the Council, who together, are supporting local residents with food and support during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Residents might not be able to get food for a number of reasons including those who are vulnerable and self-isolating and who can’t physically get out to the shops; or those who are in financial hardship and cannot afford food. For whatever reason, if you need some help then do get in touch with a local food support group.
Good news: all of the local food support groups are already up and running. They will provide food and support for local residents who can’t get access to food during the second lockdown.
Note: We’re just compiling a directory of food support groups in the borough – here’s a useful directory in the meantime: Signposting and referral details Covid-19 ADULT SOCIAL CARE v17 06Nov20
There are a number of ways to access food support over the coming weeks.
Wandsworth Council and Central Government
During the second lockdown Wandsworth Council and Central Government are especially focusing on those residents who are deemed to be ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’. There are 8,848 Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people living in Wandsworth. They are being contacted this week with information about where to get support and advice about what to do during the second lockdown. If they can afford it their food needs will be supported by local supermarkets (giving them priority delivery slots, for example), as well as their regular support networks. Wandsworth Council will only make food deliveries in extreme circumstances. Central Government will not be sending out food parcels.
Wandsworth Council is gearing up its Community Hub again. There team will support local residents as best they can within the various Council departments or they refer on to local partners. Please contact 020 8871 6555, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and [email protected].
Wandsworth Council are leafleting all households in the borough on Thursday 5th Nov with information about where to get help during the second lockdown. A social media campaign will follow. More here.
The Council has a Discretionary Social Fund to support residents facing financial hardship and destitution. Residents who need help to apply for a Discretionary grant can also contact Citizens Advice Wandsworth advisers by calling 020 4529 0674, between 10am and 12 noon, Monday to Friday (messages can be left during these times).
How will residents not online get shopping? Unless they are ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ then they will have to seek support from family, friends and local support groups.
For residents who are Clinically Vulnerable (those not in the ‘extremely’ category) what sort of support can they expect to receive? They will have to seek support from family, friends, carers and local support groups. They can also contact the Council’s Community Hub and ask for support.
What about people living in Sheltered Housing Schemes? There were a number of issues here and the Food Providers group is trying to find better ways to support these vulnerable residents. Please seek support from carers, family, friends and local support groups. Residents can also contact the Council’s Community Hub and ask for support.
I’m sure there are other questions you might have please let me know what they are. My contact details are the bottom of this page.
Organisations wanting to get involved and provide food and support
Balham Seventh Day Adventist Church is working with FareShare to distribute food to local food support groups across Wandsworth. Do contact them if you’d like FareShare support. Contact: Pastor Bernard Akakpo on [email protected] and 020 8675 4286.
Hillsong Church is setting up a new food scheme called Love Your Neighbour, which is an initiative bringing churches and charities together across the UK to provide food, career support and financial education. They are starting with a food distribution centre in London to begin supplying w/c Nov 16th 2020. Contact: Sam Lysak on 07780007337 and [email protected]
Set something up yourself? If you know someone who is in need of support then do think about what you could do for them directly. You could also put them in touch with one of the local food groups. If you are thinking about setting up your own group then do check out which food groups are already working in your neighbourhood. See what support you could offer them first. See if you can work in partnership before you set up another group from scratch.
Having said that members of the Wandsworth Covid Food Providers group have learnt A LOT over the last few months. We’d be happy to share our experiences and knowledge and to include you in our Food Providers group. We are stronger and more effective if we work together. Let me know.
Also, check out Wandsworth Care Alliance’s helpful website to access support and funding opportunities to set up a new group.
Attend the next meeting
Wandsworth Covid Food Providers Group is next meeting on Tuesday 17th November at 10am on Zoom. It’s an open meeting so do join us if you’d like.
If you’d like to know more about Wandsworth Covid Food Providers Group then please contact:
020 7223 2845