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Ambitious bid to deliver 130,000 meals a month to those in poverty

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 April 2020

Items that have been donated are put together in parcels to be delivered across Norwich. Picture: Soul Foundation

Items that have been donated are put together in parcels to be delivered across Norwich. Picture: Soul Foundation

Archant

A Norwich charity is aiming to deliver 130,000 meals a month across the city as part of ongoing plans to support those living in food poverty.

Soul Foundation deliver to schools, including Mill Cross Primary, which has165 children on its critical list. Picture: Soul FoundationSoul Foundation deliver to schools, including Mill Cross Primary, which has165 children on its critical list. Picture: Soul Foundation

Soul Foundation is expanding its food hub to support those currently and in future unable to access food due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The not for profit organisation, which was founded by pastor Jon and Chantel Norman of Soul Church, said it was looking at a plan of 10 years.

Nik Chapman, director of Soul Foundation, said: “The ambition is to coordinate demand and supply to those identified as having a need. There are of course other charities providing support but understandably some have had to be suspended. In addition there has been a wellspring of micro local help groups. The short term need is complicated with people who are vulnerable or ill or isolating and having difficulty accessing food through to those who have been made redundant or furloughed.

“The impact of the crisis on family income has been instant and profound. The long term implications are yet to be modelled with any accuracy but in broad terms there will be many more families and individuals who will find it a challenge to pay for the basic requirements including food than pre-crisis.”

Palettes of food have been delivered to help make thousands of meals and packages to be delivered across Norfolk by Soul Foundation. Picture: Soul FoundationPalettes of food have been delivered to help make thousands of meals and packages to be delivered across Norfolk by Soul Foundation. Picture: Soul Foundation

Read more: Here to Help: The woman ensuring the vulnerable get a hot meal

It is working with Norwich City Council to act as the area’s northern logistics hub and aims by the April to increase the number of meals it delivers a week from 6,000 to nearly 30,000. Before the pandemic, it was delivering 1,000 meals.

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Currently the foundation supports vulnerable mums through organisations such as YMCA Norfolk, homeless hostels, schools and a number of individual and family clients.

It has received an array of donations, including thousands of kilos of fresh produce, a chiller van and seven delivery vans.

HisChurch delivered 12 tonnes of food and items delivered to the food hub. Picture: Soul FoundationHisChurch delivered 12 tonnes of food and items delivered to the food hub. Picture: Soul Foundation

The donations are then used as part of food parcels, microwavable meals and care packages of toiletries and cleaning products.

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Soul Foundation will be launching a donation page on April 14 to continue trying to self-fund as it does not receive any financial support from the council.

The charity thanked all those who have supported them so far including Norwich School, UEA, Chartwells (Compass Gp), Boswell Insurance, Bidwells, Tofuerai and Banham Poultry.

Mr Chapman said: “One of our aims is to build a strong resilient partnership to collaborate on projects and in the delivery of a range of services, we are stronger together.”

Norwich City Football Club chaplain Jon Norman is running a fund-raising marathon on a treadmill Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorwich City Football Club chaplain Jon Norman is running a fund-raising marathon on a treadmill Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He added the foundation was working with the council to deliver its food poverty plan and support those accessing parcels through a range of programmes to become self-sufficient.

For more inspirational stories about how people are coming together to help others in need, join our ‘Here to Help’ Facebook group!


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