Aaron, our Director, chaired the Wandsworth Covid Food Providers Group, part of the Wandsworth Food Partnership, for 18+ months. It was made up of 40+ local charities, community and faith groups and the Council, who together, supported thousands of local residents with food and support during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Here he discusses why the Group is no longer needed and why that’s a sign of success.
A few members of the Wandsworth Covid Food Providers Group met recently and decided that the group has run its course. Attendance has been declining in recent months. It was set up specifically, during the first lockdown, to coordinate food support for local residents and we have achieved that aim. Thousands of local people were supported. My congratulations to you all.
As it currently stands most local people are able to access the food they need and many local community organisations have food to distribute. This group felt that we did not need to meet to coordinate things anymore. But we all recognised the importance of meeting regularly, networking and sharing information about each other’s services. There are other existing networks like the ‘Wandsworth Food Partnership’, ‘Wandsworth Council and Voluntary and Community Sector meetings’ and the ‘Wandsworth Voluntary Sector Coordination Group’ to enable this to happen.
We did leave the door open to reconvene this group should the need arise. In the meantime, best of luck with everything and thanks again.
Other useful things that came up at this last meeting:
- Lots of community food groups are providing support to local residents over the festive period and into 2022.
- Make links with local food businesses for free donations and support by joining Neighbourly: Neighbourly – where businesses help local good causes
- Get £49 fuel vouchers for local residents, and other energy support, via Thinking Works: Wandsworth Winter Warmth | thinkingworks (and attached)
- Financial support for local residents experiencing hardship can be accessed here: Financial hardship – Wandsworth Borough Council AND here: Discretionary support grants – Wandsworth Borough Council
- Wandsworth Council’s Community Hub is still open: Community Hub – Wandsworth Borough Council
- The Cash First leaflet about where to access local support can be downloaded here: Cash First Leaflets – Independent Food Aid Network UK (search for Wandsworth)
- Just a reminder to keep wearing masks, social distance, wash your hands, get regular lateral flow tests, and get the booster jab when offered.
Thanks again to you all.
Wandsworth Covid Food Providers Group