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Countywide effort to deliver emergency food parcels

Published: 17 April 2020

More than 400 emergency food parcels have been sent to residents in need across the county with more to be delivered as part of an ongoing scheme we are leading. 

We are working with district and borough councils and local voluntary organisations, to supply food to:

  • people advised by the NHS to self-isolate because they are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus due to an underlying health condition and who have no friends or family to call on for support
  • people with underlying health conditions or aged over 70 who have been advised by government to minimise social contact and who have no friends or family to call on for support
  • people and households who are required to socially isolate for a period of 7 or 14 days due to having symptoms of coronavirus and who have no friends or family to call on for support
  • people experiencing financial hardship and therefore unable to buy food

Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis said:

“We know people are struggling as a result of the coronavirus either because they can’t go to the shops themselves and have no one around who can help, or because of the financial strain due to being laid off, furloughed or self-employed.

“This is and just one of a package of measures we’ve put in place to support our residents at this difficult and challenging time and we’re doing all we can to get emergency supplies to the people who need it most as part of our Derbyshire Community Response Unit.”

We are providing food supplies with the initial delivery supplemented by central government and packaging donated by Amazon.

People who have requested help and have been advised by the NHS to self-isolate can request a basic food parcel free of charge. All other groups can order one for a cost of £25 per box. Individuals with means to pay will be invoiced £25 per parcel at a later date to help continue to provide the service for others in need.

Food parcels are packed centrally in premises loaned free of charge by the Chatsworth Estate and delivered to people’s homes in conjunction with district and borough councils and voluntary sector organisations. The contents of the boxes are generic and provide food for one person for a week.

Councillor Lewis added:

“At times like this, communities, councils, businesses and the voluntary sector need to pull together and I’m immensely proud of the efforts being made to ensure support reaches people who have no friends and family to call on to help them.

“I’d like to thank all the volunteers around the county playing a vital role in making these deliveries as quickly and smoothly as possible, to Amazon for supplying the packaging and to the Chatsworth Estate for providing a base for our logistics hub free of charge and at short notice. This really is what Derbyshire Spirit is all about.”

Anyone who does not have any family or friends to call on to help with shopping can request an emergency food parcel online or call the Community Response Unit helpline tel: 01629 535091 on Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm. Please be aware that phone lines may be busy.

Since launching at the beginning of April, the Community Response Unit has dealt with requests for help from more than 2,000 people in need of essential services – such as delivery of food and prescriptions – because they have no friends or family who can help.

Other measures we have put in place to provide food to those who need it include:

  • £100,000 grant to Foundation Derbyshire to support and strengthen food bank provision across Derbyshire. The donation was made from the £1 million fund to support local communities through the coronavirus pandemic we announced on 12 March 2020.
  • Supporting 200 schools to provide 4,000 hampers for pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals. Schools are buying these hampers from us to pass on to those pupils who are eligible for free school meals. Other schools are providing their eligible pupils with vouchers, or meals on site. Schools have decided which option is appropriate for them and their pupils.

There are 23 food banks in Derbyshire and there are donation points in supermarkets across the county. They are run by charities and non-profit organisations and mainly run by volunteers, and they provide a minimum of 3 days' emergency food and support to people experiencing a crisis.

Derbyshire's food banks are in Ashbourne, Belper, Bolsover, Buxton, Chesterfield, Clay Cross, Glossop, Heanor, Holmewood, Ilkeston, Killamarsh, Langley Mill, Littlemoor, Long Eaton, Matlock, New Mills, Ripley, South Normanton and Swadlincote.