Emergency alliance formed to feed Northamptonshire's most vulnerable, poor and disadvantaged

Four county charities have teamed up to help feed those most in need during the Covid-19 crisis

An appeal is being launched today (Tuesday) by four charities to feed the county’s most vulnerable, poor and disadvantaged who are the worst affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

The Northamptonshire Emergency Food Aid Alliance has set a target of raising £84,000 to provide 1,000 meals a day, every day, for at least the next three months to help support

those most in need.

The Daylight Centre in Wellingborough is one of the four charities involved

The partnership brings together Northampton’s Hope Centre, the Daylight Centre Fellowship in Wellingborough, East Northants Community Services, which serves the east of

the county and Corby, and Accommodation Concern in Kettering.

It is now appealing for monetary donations for ready meals, which, with all those involved acting as volunteers, will fund only the cost of ingredients, packaging and delivery.

Rachel Mallows MBE DL is the Daylight Centre Fellowship’s chair of trustees and says there’s never been a more urgent need for support.

She said: “The county has some of the top 20 per cent of deprived wards in the UK and this national emergency has only compounded their adversity, inequality and poverty to new and desperate levels.

“This project will aim to address the issues for our most deprived communities and while we’ve already started to apply to trusts and other sources of finance for funding, those take

time to be secured and time is something we simply don’t have.

“We need help now so that we can ensure that our isolated, elderly and those at risk don’t become ill due to hunger or, worse still, a further victim of this terrible disease."

Robin Burgess, CEO of the Hope Centre, says that it’s great to see such organisations pulling together during such challenging times and added: “Thanks to this new collaboration, we will be able to access stocks of high-quality locally sourced ready meals to add to the food we already supply to people in need.

“During this crisis we are supplying over two thousand meals a week to rough sleepers in hotels and a further 400 a week through our Hope Foodclub so, with the countywide

increase in demand prompted by the current situation, we are really pleased to be working in partnership to produce a vital food resource."

The alliance is working in conjunction with Northamptonshire’s Community Resilience Hubs to support those most at risk and to avoid duplicating efforts.

Its support will be targeted at those who are unable to prepare their own meals, for whom food parcels may be inappropriate, as well as the county’s rough sleepers who have now

been found shelter through their local council.

The meals will be created from fresh ingredients and cooked to order, thereby ensuring those who receive them benefit from at least one healthy, nutritious meal a day.

A number of county businesses have already responded to the call to arms, including a start-up donation of £6,000 from Northampton-based British Pepper & Spice.

Whitco Catering and Bakery Equipment in Thrapston is donating food while Ray Hall of R H Hall Ltd in Bedfordshire and Barrie Mcnamee from Kitchen Clearance UK Ltd

in Collyweston are among those to have donated freezers and microwaves.

Kettering catering company Portfolio Events is currently preparing the meals at cost, utilising chefs who are volunteering for this work.

A restricted fund has been set up and is now open for donations.

Those can be paid to Daylight Centre; Sort Code 60-83-01; Account No. 20159054. (Charity No. 1100809)

For further information email Rachel Mallows at [email protected]

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper when you do your weekly shop.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you