When the coronavirus hit we knew there would be many families in our community in need of support, now more than ever, from help getting groceries and prescriptions through to dog walking and all sorts in-between.
We are hearing lots of, sometimes quite harrowing, stories of people who are in real need of help. Many of which were in employment before the crisis but now find themselves without sufficient funds to feed themselves or have no one to shop for them. Some are recovering from major surgery or living with a life limiting condition and others simply struggle every day to make ends meet.
We learnt that some of our local food banks had to close temporarily because the very volunteers that used to run them are themselves now in isolation but we have linked up with others across Ipswich that are still operating and doing an amazing job. However, most of the supplies tend to be dry goods so we thought it would be a good idea to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to those in need so that people can have a more balanced and healthier diet. Fresh Food Friday does just that.
We identify those in most need by a referral process through charitable organisations, Ipswich Borough Council and schools, confirm they live in our area of Whitton Whitehouse and Castle Hill and meet our other criteria and then place an order with local greengrocers such as Kays in Meredith Road who have been incredibly patient and kind, going the extra mile to help the community at a time when they are already dealing with an unprecedentedly high volume of customers.
We include information about the NW Ipswich Big Local Trust Community Garden in the food boxes too so that when this situation is past and we can move around again, people know where to go to learn about growing their own food.
There’s also a wildlife garden with bug piles and bird feeders, craft activities and BBQ’s, there’s a cottage garden, pond and so much more. We share the crops and it’s all free!