Food parcels for hundreds in council support drive

Croydon Council will begin delivering food parcels to hundreds of the borough’s most vulnerable residents from next week under its support for all who need it during coronavirus restrictions.

Since the government told the public to stay at home, the council has continued not only its priority frontline services including social care and bin collections, but it has also given advice and financial support to hundreds of Croydon people struggling as a result of the changes.

From early next week council staff and local volunteers will begin delivering regular non-chilled food parcels to those who have no-one to shop for them and must stay at home for 12 weeks because of severe medical conditions including heart problems, cancer and lung disease.

Hundreds of Croydon people – among 1.5 million people nationwide identified by the NHS as being in greatest need of being shielded from exposure to coronavirus – received a letter over the last week telling them to stay at home and contact their local council if they need help.

Any resident identified as being in this priority group will:

  • Need to call the council, quoting a reference number on their NHS letter
  • Be told which day their parcel will arrive
  • Receive it between 6am and 10pm from a member of council staff or vetted volunteer carrying appropriate ID
  • Be asked in advance where the parcel should be left – outside or in the kitchen
  • Have separate arrangements for delivery of medicines through their local pharmacy
  • Be offered any wraparound support needed, including social care and safeguarding
  • Have access to a council helpline from Monday 30 March (0208 604 7787) and email (covid19support@croydon.gov.uk) to get support and advice quickly.

Parcels arriving by van deliveries to these addresses will include tinned food, store cupboard packets and other non-perishable items, but in the coming weeks the council is looking to meet any rise in demand and expand what is on offer. This includes a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and food that meets residents’ dietary or religious requirements.

Anyone who does not meet these medical criteria but is struggling to access food can still receive a range of support from the council, from supermarket e-vouchers and welfare advice to applying for help with their rent or bills. The council also has a series of Food Stops that offer cut-price groceries, and the council is looking to expand their availability in the coming weeks.

For more information, visit the COVID-19 pages on the council website, which includes service updates and advice for borough residents. Support is also available from the local voluntary sector in Croydon via www.croydon.gov.uk/cva

“It is vital that we stay at home and save lives in these unprecedented times, but for those who cannot shop for themselves and have no wider support network these food parcels are a lifeline for some of our most vulnerable local residents.

“By working with our superb local partners in the NHS and the voluntary sector, we are helping not just those needing these parcels but also people across the borough, and this is part of a wider council push to ensure no-one is left behind.”

Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council

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