News 

New foodbank delivery service feeds 450 in first three weeks 

6th April 2020
 FOODBANK DELIVERY 04-2020B

The Great Yarmouth Foodbank Emergency Delivery Service has got emergency food parcels to more than 450 people in its first three weeks of operation
 


 
The service, which was the brainchild of Liz Townson of Gorleston Baptist Church, was set up in response to the Covid-19 crisis and to complement the foodbank’s existing provision which operates by a voucher-referral system out of Great Yarmouth Salvation Army, Gorleston Baptist Church, and St Mary Magdalene Church, Gorleston
 
Anna Heydon of Imagine Norfolk Together in Great Yarmouth (which seeks to coordinate the community provision of churches in the borough) explains, “We realized early on that our existing system would not adequately meet the needs of the current crisis, especially if people were unable to leave their homes.  So, for people who are forced to self-isolate and are not able to source food in any other way, we are offering a self-referral delivery service”
 
“People in need of the service call a dedicated phone line, are quickly assessed against our criteria, and then receive a delivery of a seven day emergency food parcel

Since the service began on 16th March a total of 190 deliveries have been made, serving 283 adults and 167 children
 
FOODBANK DELIVERY 04-2020AOne elderly resident who was self-isolating and received a parcel told the call operator that after the delivery driver had left she had a “little cry” because she was so overwhelmed by the generosity of the food parcel. The resident said, “It was all more than I would normally buy for myself at Christmas and will last me for a good while.  I’ve just enjoyed a ham sandwich!”
 
Rev Matthew Price, Vicar of St Mary Magdalene, Gorleston which is acting as one of food depots for the new service said, “It’s been wonderful to see the community response to the current crisis.  There is now a team of 80 volunteers acting as call handlers, shoppers, food parcel packers, and delivery drivers.  We’ve also been really touched by the donations of food and money, we have received from both individuals and businesses”
 
“It is often the vulnerable who are hit hardest by a crisis like this and we are delighted to be working in close partnership with both Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the other churches in the borough in seeking to meet some of their most pressing needs”
 
Anyone who is self-isolating and unable to get food in any other way can contact the delivery helpline on 07907 616566
 
In addition to the emergency delivery service, the usual foodbank distribution times at the Salvation Army, Gorleston Baptist Church, and St Mary Magdalene Church are continuing to operate for those with vouchers.  Clients are requested to observe strict social distancing measures when they attend.  Further details can be found on the website at www.greatyarmouthfoodbank.co.uk

 

read a previous article listing Foodbank client voucher session opening times

 

Factfile

 
Project title:                      Great Yarmouth Foodbank Emergency Delivery Service
 
Who runs the project:       Liz Townson, Anna Heydon, Matthew and Anna Price
 
Catchment area
:                Borough of Great Yarmouth - NR29, NR30, NR31 
 
Address of project base:   HQ of Delivery Service is St Mary Magdalene Church Hall, Fastolff Avenue, Magdalen Square, Gorleston NR31 7BZ
 
Public contact details:       delivery helpline on 07907 616566. For general enquiries or if you want to deliver, call 01493 494248 or email anna.heydon@togethernorfolk.org.uk
 
Current needs:                  volunteer packers, drivers and shoppers are always welcome.  Contact details as above.  Alternatively volunteers can sign up here: https://forms.gle/pZHNiSiwTA4CdUw47
 
What you can offer other projects:  agencies who identify self-isolators who need food parcel delivery should be in touch via the helpline.
 
Prayer requests:     

  • Pray for sustaining and protection on the volunteer team

  • Give thanks for the amazing provision of food and funds to date.  Please pray that would continue

  • Pray for enough volunteers - that others would become available as some need to self-isolate

  • Pray for those that receive the parcels that they would see them as a sign of the love and hope available in the gospel

  • Pray for wisdom for those manning the calls as they seek to discern those in genuine need, and point others to alternative avenues where appropriate

  • Give thanks for the close partnerships between churches in the borough and the Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and pray protection on those relationships

  • Pray for plans going forward - particularly for the Easter weekend - and for dealing with the demand, which seems to fluctuate daily

  
the photos above are of St Mary Magdalene church hall, now operating as a foodbank depot