A community hub project we launched to help deliver vital food to the vulnerable at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic is coming to an end after helping over 900 people.
In less than three months, the ground-breaking project has helped hundreds of people after they were identified by partners Lichfield District Council and then supported by ourselves with the creation and delivery of vital food packages from our store, in Boley Park.
Now, after lockdown measures have been eased, people using the service are now able to visit shops to pick up food and essentials on their own, so the community hub is coming to a close.
However, anyone still in need of support can still access it via our new call and collect service for our Members.
James Knight, the Member and Community Relations Officer for Central England Co-op managing the project, said: “Everyone has worked tirelessly with Lichfield District Council to make sure some of the most vulnerable have never gone without food and essentials.
“We have helped over 900 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 – Stafford, Derby, Burton and Leicester.
Councillor Ashley Yeates, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, said: “I’m so proud of the emergency food service we’ve been able to provide in partnership with Central England Co-op. It’s helped hundreds of vulnerable people since it first launched, offering a valuable lifeline in difficult times.
“I’d like to thank all our drivers, volunteers, staff who handled the calls and Central England Co-op who it’s been a pleasure to work with. I am very grateful to Live at Home Lichfield and Burntwood who will be taking forward the service with Co-op, continuing to offer shopping for people who are self-isolating at home.”
In total, over 1,500 people have been supported across all five projects.
James added: “We do, however, want to stress that if people still do need support we are launching our call and collect service in Lichfield to help those who still need help with their shopping.”
The service sees Members call a dedicated number and place their order, their store will then pick and pack the order that day before having it ready to be collected in the afternoon the day after.
The Member or a nominated person will then visit the store and collect the shopping. Payment for the food and essentials will be taken over the phone from the retailer’s head office in the city.
Items available to order include everything from fresh food to cupboard essentials.
From 6 July customers will have their shopping needs met through the revised scheme, which includes:
· Customers calling Central England Co-op’s helpline number on 0800 050 1601 and placing their order by phone
· Customers can then get a friend, family member or neighbour to collect their order or Live At Home volunteers can collect orders the day after the order is placed and deliver that afternoon