Wiltshire Publications

Panic buying hampers town council’s food box scheme to help the vulnerable

Story posted on

WESTBURY Town Council has received donations to enable them to put together food boxes to distribute to vulnerable people who have no support network during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The council is working with Wiltshire Council, Age Uk, Westbury & District Link, Your Care Wiltshire, Sovereign Housing, Popcan, Westbury Group Practice, MacIntyre charity, All Saints Church,  local area coordinator, Steve Hubbard, and Crosspoint to identify people in the community who do not have a support network or access to online support in the town. 

The town council has received donations of money to allow them to go out and purchase food to fill boxes ready to distribute. These included a £100 anonymous donation, £500 from community group POPCAN, donations from the town council  and four/five people offering to sponsor a box.

This scheme is running under the umbrella of Abraham’s Kitchen – an initiative that was due to start next month offering community meals. 

The town council was due to begin delivering the boxes  last weekend but because of  people ‘panic-buying’ from supermarkets, it left the council with very little to fill the boxes. There were even reports of toilet rolls being stolen from public toilets. 

Events manager, Ryan Childs said, “I couldn’t actually believe the level of panic-buying until I went into the supermarkets in the town to collect stock for these boxes. We were planning to distribute the boxes as soon as we could, to help those in need, but are having to postpone it until we are able to source food and our deliveries come in.

“It’s really unfortunate that the people who really need the food, the vulnerable with no kind of support network, are having to lose out because of people over-buying.

“Despite that, we are working hard to identify those who are in need through social media, working with the partner organisations and also we will be distributing leaflets to homes where we think people are in need, as not everyone is on social media. 

“On those leaflets, we will also be telling them about our hotline that we are currently setting up to ensure that no one is left alone during self-isolation. 

“The people on the end of that hotline are going to be DBS checked and all information given will be kept secure and we will ensure that safeguarding is at its highest level.”

If you know someone who would benefit from one of the food boxes, you can fill in a simple form on the OPEN WESTBURY Covid-19 Support, Help and Volunteering Co-ordination Facebook group. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *