A community project delivering food to vulnerable people in Stafford at the height of the coronavirus pandemic has come to an end after helping nearly 700 residents.
The ground-breaking ‘Community Hub’ was a partnership between Stafford Borough Council and Central England Co-op. Vulnerable residents were identified by the council and then supported by the retailer with the creation and delivery of essential food packages from its store, in Wildwood.
Since lockdown measures were eased people using the service are now able to visit shops to pick up food and essentials on their own so the community hub has come to a close.
Although anyone still in need of support can still access it via Central England Co-op’s new call and collect service for its members.
Patrick Farrington, Leader of Stafford Borough Council, said: “At a critical time during this pandemic the partnership between the council and Central England Co-op provided a vital lifeline to some of the most vulnerable and isolated members of our community.
“The amount of calls, emails and other correspondence I have received demonstrates how welcome this service has been, both for the residents we have helped, and the reassurance it has given to families who were unable to support elderly parents or relatives due to the virus.
“This successful operation was put together swiftly and efficiently and I am pleased to hear the Co-op will be offering a service for those who want to continue using it.”
James Knight, the Member and Community Relations Officer for Central England Co-op managing the project, said: “Everyone has worked tirelessly with Stafford Borough Council to make sure some of the most vulnerable have never gone without food and essentials.
“We have helped 691 people in less than three months, providing vital support to our community during these uncertain times.
“Thank you to everyone involved in this vital community hub project and for the efforts made to make a real difference during these uncertain times.”
The scheme has been such a success that it has been rolled out across four other areas – Lichfield, Derby, Burton and Leicester.
James added: “We do, however, want to stress that if people still do need support we are launching our call and collect service in Stafford to help those who still need help with their shopping.”
Full details, including the items Members can order, is available online at https://bit.ly/35TZRpz
Press Release No 5662