Food Distribution Service Launched for Vulnerable Residents
Particularly vulnerable residents in Ards and North Down who are required to self-isolate and have no means to obtain basic food supplies are being provided with vital support by their local council through a free weekly food distribution service…
The countrywide initiative is being promoted by the Department for Communities with the support of councils, health trusts and other partners. Council officers in Ards and North Down have redeployed to form a Covid-19 Community Support Team and are working hard to identify people in the borough who are vulnerable from lack of social contact or who are in desperate need of food.
More than 600 food boxes containing mostly non-perishable items have already been delivered direct to the doors of those most in need, ensuring they have access to basic food supplies. The boxes are being delivered on a weekly basis to vulnerable people who, for various health reasons, need to ‘shield’ and have no other way to access food.
The Chief Executive of Ards and North Down Borough Council, Stephen Reid, said:
"It's absolutely vital that we support our vulnerable residents at this difficult time. By delivering basic food supplies direct to their doors, it means our vulnerable citizens can stay at home and stay healthy. However, I must stress that we don’t have a limitless supply of boxes so if people have other ways of getting food they should continue to do so.”
He added: “We all must play our part to avoid transmitting the virus and this service will undoubtedly help to save lives in our borough while providing essential support to those most in need."
(Photo: Chief Executive Stephen Reid)
The food distribution service complements a range of measures that the Council has implemented to support local residents. These include a directory of services - available from the Council website - that outlines information such as various community and voluntary support networks, pharmacies and their operating practices as well as local businesses that offer food delivery services.
In addition, the Council has also created two additional telephone support teams. They maintain contact with vulnerable people who are socially isolating and need comfort, and they also provide help and advice to concerned members of the public, community and voluntary organisations as well as referrals from Advice NI.
Residents that qualify for this assistance who have not yet been contacted should telephone the Community Helpline on 0808 802 0020 - phone lines are open every day from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 'ACTION' to 81025.