Food poverty is an increasing difficulty faced by many families and individuals across the UK. The use of food banks has dramatically increased over recent years.
Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire, based in Coventry, wanted to do something to help support the amazing work being done by food banks in the local area.
Daily, companions from Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire collect stock donated by local wholesalers and other suppliers. They act as a delivery service, driving around the area to drop off food and essential items to all the Coventry food banks and hubs.
During the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, the companions extended this scheme. In addition to supporting food banks, they delivered food and essentials to former rough-sleepers living in temporary accommodation in the city centre, as well as refugees also in temporary accommodation. This involved several trips a week, driving around with a van full of food and dropping off where people needed it most.
This initiative is run by Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire companions with support from staff. The initiative benefits many individuals and families from the Coventry area and has fostered local partnerships so future projects can potentially be developed.
The Coventry & Warwickshire community has 18 companions.
‘Helping Coventry’s Food Banks’ is run with the support of local wholesalers who kindly donate the food. Distribution of food and goods is undertaken working with local and regional government departments and many local voluntary groups and support groups.
Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire has been providing food to food banks for the past 10 years. The current need for ‘Helping Coventry’s Food Banks’ was identified through discussions with local food banks who were seeking support with replenishing their stock due to high demand.
Once the need was identified, the Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire community set out a plan, working alongside generous local wholesalers. Companions volunteer their time to fulfil a weekly delivery route around the area, making sure food isn’t wasted and instead given to those who need it most.
The community aims to continue the scheme so that it can continue to support the vital work of fighting food poverty in the Coventry area.
Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire has provided food and supplies to Coventry foodbanks for the last 10 years. Normal delivery (pre COVID-19) is to 15 food banks per week. This service is an essential part of the food bank distribution network in Coventry.
Through its development, the community has made contact with a number of new partners. It is also hoped that the project will raise awareness of the work of Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire.
There are many people currently housed in temporary accomodation which include rough sleepers, refugees, migrants and people fleeing domestic violence in Coventry. Accommodation is not always in premises that have cooking facilities so the provision of fresh food daily is crucial.