A community appeal to raise money to provide food for vulnerable and isolated people in Brighton & Hove during the Coronavirus crisis topped £30,000 in just 21 days.
The council is matching the sum and contributing an additional £30,000 to the appeal.
The council is working with the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership to support more than 50 local community volunteer groups across the city providing food parcels and meals to residents struggling to get food.
Requests for help from food banks have more than trebled since the start of the outbreak and the community response is proving a lifeline for many.
The additional money raised through the appeal means the food partnership can bulk buy more food and essential items for food banks and community groups to continue this vital work.
What's happened so far...
This is how some of the money raised has been used to support residents so far:
- Food banks are giving out more than 1400 parcels a week – up from around 400 a week before the outbreak
- The food partnership has bulk purchased £3,617 of food, including pasta, rice, tinned fish, milk, and eggs, which has been passed on to food banks, projects making meals, and used to make food parcels
- 10 sacks of carrots, five sacks of onions and 20 sacks of potatoes from local farms have been shared out
- £7,500 has been passed on to partner projects to buy supplies of food
- The food partnership hub has made 80 parcels which have delivered directly to people's doors by volunteer and council drivers
- More than 1800 meals have been delivered to people, including using surplus ingredients donated by cafes and restaurants that had to close
Councillor Anne Pissaridou, chair of environment, transport & sustainability, said: "The community response to this pandemic has been remarkable – they hit the ground running to make sure vulnerable residents could get the food they needed.
"I would like to thank all the local community volunteers and everyone else who has volunteered to help out, donated surplus food or contributed to the appeal. I’m really proud of our community’s response.
"I would also like to thank our partners at the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, local community groups and other organisations in helping to get food out to those who need it most in the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in.
"We are delighted that we are contributing £30,000 to match the donations of the community, to help ensure this essential service continues.”
Vic Borrill, Director of the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership said: "We have been blown away by the generosity of the people of Brighton & Hove, who donated an incredible £30,000 in less than three weeks.
“Donations ranged from £5 to over £1,000 and we are grateful to each and every person who is helping ensure no one in our community goes Hungry At Home.
“With the fantastic news of match funding from Brighton & Hove City Council, we can scale up the bulk purchase of essential items from tea to tomatoes, toilet roll to tuna!
“We've already started distributing these products through our network of partners who are getting food straight to people in need.
“Thank you and please keep supporting and sharing the crowdfund campaign."
If you, or someone you know needs support to get essential supplies like food or medication and you don't have family, friends or a support/care worker to help you, please complete our online coronavirus help request form with details of the help you need.
If you have no way of getting online and no one to help you, you can call 01273 293117, and press option 2. Please only call if you have no other option, leaving the phone lines free for those who really need it.
For other information about food during the Coronavirus crisis including help with shopping, local food suppliers and how businesses can donate surplus food, please visit the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership website.