Gedling Borough Council has purchased over £20,000 worth of goods to distribute from a new ‘super food bank’ at Richard Herrod Centre, in Carlton to help local food banks – and over 400 volunteers have signed up to help.
The food was purchased from local supermarkets and wholesalers that will be distributed from the centre, in partnership with the food banks in the borough.
The Richard Herrod Centre, based in Carlton, was closed along with the council’s leisure centres in response to the government’s measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The centre itself is not a food bank and therefore will not be open to the public but it will now become the Giving for Gedling Humanitarian Centre, used to store the food. The kitchen facilities will also be used to prepare hot food to be included in food parcels. Catering staff from several local food outlets have offered to provide assistance as volunteers.
The council is also co-ordinating a team of volunteers to provide assistance to the elderly and the vulnerable who have contacted the council for help.
So far, over 400 volunteers have responded to the council’s call out on the Giving for Gedling webpage. They will help deliver food parcels to properties, carry out neighbourhood checks and help distribute food to the food banks.
Any residents who are in need of support can ring the Nottinghamshire County Council ‘golden number’ on 0300 500 80 80 or visit www.gedling.gov.uk/givingforgedling. Any residents who want to volunteer or make a donation can also do so at the same website.
Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke said: “We are opening the Giving for Gedling Humanitarian Centre in response to the call from our local food banks who are all seeing a huge increase in demand. We are going to purchase £20,000 worth of food that will be sent to the centre before it is distributed to the food banks which, we hope, will make a significant difference to those who are in need.
These are challenging times but we cannot forget our most vulnerable and elderly who may be struggling to get food because of the virus outbreak. I would like to thank the army of volunteers who have signed up to support the Giving for Gedling scheme and the staff at Gedling Borough Council who have worked non-stop to get the centre up and running as quickly as possible. We would advise anyone who needs help or support to call the golden number or visit our website and we will make sure they are given the assistance they need.”