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FOOD PARCELS: Council spend £450,000 on extending emergency lifeline

FOOD PARCELS: Council spend £450,000 on extending emergency lifeline

Image: LDRS

Disadvantaged families in Wolverhampton are to be given a further 500,000 food parcels costing £450,000, as the council continues to support the city’s foodbanks.

Each parcel will contain enough basic food to feed someone for a week, and will be allocated as part of the council’s ongoing 12-month package of emergency assistance to help the city’s most vulnerable residents.

The packages will typically contain store cupboard staples such as cereal, bread, soup, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes/pasta sauce, tinned vegetarian meal, beans, tinned vegetables, tinned fruit, tea/coffee, biscuits and UHT milk.

In a report to the council’s cabinet resources panel, Visitor Economy Manager Crissie Rushton said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated levels of household poverty and insecurity across the city and the UK, with many residents finding it much more difficult to access vital food supplies.

“The current economic downturn is likely to continue affecting job security, household incomes, the welfare system and the demand for food aid.

The council has been delivering vital supplies to a network of foodbanks across the city since the start of the pandemic and has so far delivered 850,000 meals.

Foodbanks that will benefit include The Well, Adventist Foodbank, Bilston People’s Centre, Excel Church, Stratton Street Park Village and the Elias Mattu Foundation.

Caroline Price, project leader at The Well, said: “The weekly donation of the council food boxes have been a great support, not only to us, but to other projects we have shared them with.”

Council leader, Councillor Ian Brookfield (Lab. Fallings Park), added: “Our approach is simple – we look after our own and no-one gets left behind. The pandemic has made life really difficult for our city’s network of foodbanks who provide vital help for people in financial crisis.

“Demand for this help has gone up as more people are struggling financially, but the donations the foodbanks rely on to keep going have dropped and many of their volunteers are older people who have needed to shield.

“This is why, early in the pandemic, we took a decision to directly support our foodbanks by providing them with weekly supplies.

“I am hugely proud of the way our council has ensured people have been able to put food on the table during this pandemic,” he added.

The council’s cabinet resources panel is set to approve the move next Wednesday (March 17).

Words: Joe Sweeney, Local Democracy Reporter

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