An army of council workers has begun distributing food parcels to vulnerable people isolating in their homes in Nottingham.
Nottingham City Council is overseeing an operation which involves food parcels being put together at one of its leisure centres by a team of council staff, strictly observing social distancing rules. These are emergency food parcels and basic toiletries for people who are self-isolating and have no other means of support.
A call centre has been established at another council site, as well as some council staff working from their own homes to take calls from members of the public. The Customer Hub number 0115 915 5555 and an online form at www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/coronavirus was set up in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Customers are being urged to consider the level of support they need:
- Support from friends and neighbours: Many people will need to self-isolate but will have good support networks of friends and neighbours available to help them.
- Support from the Council’s Customer Hub: Some people will need to self-isolate and DO NOT have support available. The Council phone line will connect these people with community support and volunteers.
- Government Shielding Measures: Over 500 people in Nottingham have been identified by the NHS as extremely vulnerable and in need of ‘Shielding Measures’. These people are entitled to receive a Government organised support package of groceries, pharmacy deliveries and social isolation support.
- Adult Social Care packages: Current users of Adult Social Care services are already deemed vulnerable and receive an established care package which the council will continue to provide.
Callers eligible for food parcels will have it delivered by members of the council’s passenger transport services team who have been redeployed to carry out this vital work. The parcels are available in single person and family pack sizes and have optional Vegan and Halal versions for our communities. They include items such as:
- Canned tomatoes and beans
- Canned sweetcorn and macaroni
- Tuna (where appropriate)
- Jam and biscuits
- Milk or Oat/Soya Milk
- Soap and Toilet Rolls
Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities, Cllr Rebecca Langton, said: “We have launched our Customer Hub service which means that if you are self-isolating and don’t have a support network or an established way of getting food, we can bring you a supply to your door for a small charge.
“I want to say a massive thank you to those making this possible. This is an exceptional effort across a range of council services who are pulling together to provide a brand new, vital service from scratch to the homes of vulnerable people around the city.”
The council is only charging for the costs of each parcel including the wholesale price of the food and delivery but not for staffing or other costs so there’s no profit and it is good value. There are single person and family options as well as culturally appropriate options such as halal and vegan. These food parcels are also available for those most in need in local communities and are being delivered by community volunteers, Community Protection Officers co-ordinated through our area Neighbourhood Development Officers
A separate paid-for Meals at Home service is operated by the council and has also been included in the information for local people, with preparations in place to cope with an increase in demand. This service is ideal for those not eligible for free emergency food parcels or for whom a Food Parcel isn’t suitable, but wishing to receive hot food deliveries.
Speaking about the Meals at Home service, Cllr Langton added: “If people want more than an emergency food parcel they can buy it through Meals at Home. This is a paid-for service but it provides a personal service to hundreds of people a week and it is good value. There are single person and family options as well as culturally appropriate options such as halal, vegan and vegetarian.
“I want to say a massive thank you to those making this possible. We have got lots of staff from our leisure centres, community protection, neighbourhood teams and back office staff working to make this happen. A huge thank you too goes to our voluntary sector partners, community groups, individual volunteers and taxi drivers, without whom none of this would have been possible.”