Our FoodHub has more than doubled in size, supporting more than 200 people with the support of many wonderful individuals and organisations, all members of our community pulling together in a crisis to help each other.
The project started with a view to supporting up to 30 households in the Moston and immediate area, and the first day saw deliveries to 17 households. The majority of these were in Moston who were fairly elderly, isolated people, by Tuesday 26 th May, 136 people in 62 households were supported.
People are referred to us from a range of sources that include Well Being services, doctors, Greater Manchester Mental Health, community care navigators, Manchester Communications Academy and Carers’ Services, and the nature of the problems faced by these households has broadened to include people from across our wonderful community who face various challenges such as mental health difficulties, financial problems while the self-employed bread winners await their money from the self-employed support fund, and families shielding a household member with serious
health problems such as reduced immune systems due to cancer treatment.
Deliveries are now being made mainly across the North and North East Manchester area in districts such as: Moston, Newton Heath, Blackley, Harpurhey, Collyhurst, Cheetham Hill, Ancoats but even as far as an emergency delivery in Gorton!
None of this would be possible without so many kind people and organisations who have given time, money or goods and services to make this possible:
Of course, a big thanks must go to all our volunteers who put in so much time, love and care – some giving up as many as 4 and 5 days a week into making this Community Covid-19 FoodHub such a success.
Furloughed Staff – 4
FC Members – 12
North Manchester Business Network/Manchester City Council – 4
Community Volunteers – 8
Every volunteer who has been involved will be name checked at the end of the project – you may have to wait some time for this recognition! The demand for our help isn’t abating.
If you would like to contribute in any way then call Vinny Thompson on 07792 833086
Our Supporting Donors
We have had generous grant support from the following organisations:
We Love MCR Charity @mcr_charity
buzz Manchester @buzzmanc
Greater Manchester Mental Health
Covid-19 Relief Fund
Forever Manchester @4EVERManchester
In addition, we have received about £600 in cash donations from supporters
Supporters providing supplies and support:
Fine Lady Bakery http://www.heygates.co.uk/general/fine-lady-bakery/
Miss Bakeology https://www.facebook.com/leannehurley.mbcakes/
Grandads Sausages @GSausages
Hollands Pies @HollandsPies
Kandy King @corolldraw
Green’s Butchers of Glossop
Biffa: heavy duty delivery bags
Manchester City Football Club: unused match day refreshments
The Coop, Piccadilly Approach: donated goods
B and M, One Below: purchases at staff discount rates
Morrisons Supermarket in Failsworth
St Dunstan’s Roman Catholic Primary School
St Matthew’s Roman Catholic High School
CostCo: £200 of products and special shopping slots
Emma and Peter Hand: tinned food
Npower: a van and a man
MasterMoves a van and man and 24/7 support: @mastermovesltd
HMG Paints Ltd for providing hand sanitiser: @HMGpaints
Warren Thorpe: face masks
Ad lite: advertising space
Supporters: masks and gloves
V A Whitley: sanitiser, bags, packing materials
People given support
Over 200 to date, with further referrals received each week:
14 Care Homes – Food and spare PPE
NHS staff at the acute intensive care units at North Manchester General and Wythenshawe Hospitals
District nurses’ hub, North Manchester
Chatterbox Food Bank and Homeless groups in Manchester – when we have received too much of items that will go out of date before the next delivery date
“Viv passed me a new client today. Last minute delivery. Claire packed it all up. Two big bags and lots of nappies! C answered the door. He was in tears. He said he was self-employed and had never missed a day’s work since he left school. He was about 30. He said he’d no money for weeks and couldn’t feed his family which included a baby. So grateful to FC.” - A volunteer delivery driver
“Thank you so much. Your help is very much appreciated. Me and my boys are very grateful” - Gabriella and the boys
“Thank you so much for all the support you and your team have given to our families. We really would not have managed without your support. You are doing a wonderful thing for our community.” - Grateful recipient
“A huge thank you for all the drinks and crisps you kindly gave us" Wythenshawe Hospital Acute Intensive Care Unit
“Thank you very much for the cakes. The residents enjoyed decorating them ready for VE Day.” Dove Nest Nursing Home, Newton Heath
“A huge thanks to our wonderful community partners FC United of Manchester who have donated visors to our team at EachStep Blackley. These guys have made a staggering effort to support all kinds of people in our local community during this tough time…. Proving, yet again, that the sport offers so much more to us than just 2 hours a week of kicking a ball around a field!” - Grateful recipient
“Thank you so much for your kind and generous donation, which Anne so lovingly and caringly brings to help our family. The food helps support 5 members of our family and our beloved grandad. We are all very grateful for your kindness.” The McKimm family
To view ‘Granada Reports’ piece on the hub click here
A bit more on the Operation
As more households have been referred, we have had to adjust how we operate so deliveries to families are twice a week – now on Tuesdays and Fridays. The space for storage, display and packing has been trebled. This has created more space for:
social distancing as the number of volunteers has increased,
improved display to assist the packers
improved stock rotation and control
As many of the deliveries as possible to the Hub, such as from Fareshare and from purchases from cash and carry stores, are now made on Mondays and Thursdays. This has enabled the items to be date checked and stored correctly for the next day’s packing or for a future delivery day.
Delivery day starts with Viv opening up. Anne is usually there already and soon has the urn boiling for a brew and is busily bagging up single portions of cheese from catering packs.
Thun arrives and busies himself with taking stock out of the fridge and packing up individual bags of fruit and vegetables. He also does a stock check of the fridges after each delivery day to ensure that no food goes to waste.
Jo and Hannah soon arrive and start separating the meat into individual portions. For households of 2 or more, they place the meat in named bags ready for the packers.
Vinny arrives with purchases that he has made that morning for delivery that day.
Carol has prepared the master spreadsheet on the evening before for Viv to print and tape onto the front door. Details of any dietary requirements, special requests for each household are detailed on that so the packers are given specific guidance of
what to, and not to, pick.
Carol arrives with the bread and it is date checked to reduce the amount that is wasted. She also has separate sheets with details of names and addresses of receiving households for the drivers.
Viv returns with sheets for the packers – using the information from the master spreadsheet.
The packers arrive and are briefed on items that are in short supply that need to be packed sparingly or what we’ve got a lot of and must be used on the day before passing their best before, use by date.
The packers work their way down the spreadsheet list, placing the items in heavy duty, reusable bags that have already been labelled with the client’s name and the delivery driver of the day. Usually, each household is given a free newspaper and booklets giving advice to help with their mental well-being.
Once the bag is complete, it is placed with the other bags that will be delivered by a particular driver, and the name is ticked off on the master sheet. As the bags are taken out to the driver, they are crossed off the master sheet to check that each client’s bag has actually left the building! Hopefully, each driver’s bags are ready when they arrive so that they don’t have too long to wait, especially if they are doing deliveries during their lunch break.