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COMMUNITY FOOD RESPONSE IN BLACON. BLACON ACTION TEAM

by SL,

BLACON ACTION TEAM @BlaconTeam

The Blacon Action Team is a collaboration between The Blacon Community Store, Blacon Beacon, West Cheshire Foodbank, Here and Now, Kidsbank Chester, Holy Trinity Church, Cheshire West Communities Together, Welcome Network, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the local schools. We were fortunate in that the Blacon Beacon (Pantry for Blacon CIO) a new charity whose prime purpose is to provide food for those in poverty in the local area of Blacon, Chester, had just finished building, decorating and furnishing a room for food storage in Blacon Holy Trinity church hall when the lockdown happened. We have been able to use the church hall and the shop as a distribution hub.

Thanks to generous grants from The National Lottery Community Fund, and also Westminster Foundation, Cheshire Community Foundation, Transforming Lives Together and Cheshire West and Chester Council, we have been enabled to provide a food service for those who are struggling in this crisis. We have two hubs where people can collect food parcels from, at Holy Trinity church hall, and also at the Community Store on Western Avenue. Additionally, we deliver food to those who are unable to get out and do not have someone who can collect for them. This service quickly built up from nothing, and now over 330 households are registered with our service, and over 36 volunteers assist (either in one of the hubs, or making deliveries). To date we have provided food for over 2,300 people.

This has enabled many people to keep their families from going hungry at a time of significant hardship. Moreoever, there is the opportunity of a valuable weekly contact with some vulnerable people who may be living on their own and nobody else to speak to.

We have a regular band of volunteers and a waiting list. In normal times we would be able to use more volunteers but due to safer working and social distancing we have to limit the number of people working in the hub.

We would like to thank Waitrose, Morrisons and Aldi for donations of food and carrier bags

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