The Covid-19 crisis has shed new light on how, or whether, the elderly and other vulnerable people have been getting the food they need to be healthy every day.
This coronavirus pandemic is causing many of us to worry about how our older family members and neighbors can cope but also trigger community responses, together with a surge in demand for essential services.
With an increasing number of people needing to self-isolate together with lunch clubs and other providers temporarily closing down, demand for meals on wheels and other shopping services has accelerated.
Such services are not the standard practice, but the need for them has been made much more clearer especially during this pandemic.
Community food agencies have also redirected their work to what could be most necessary.
The Bevy, a neighborhood pub and café in Brighton is already been operating on a food delivery service, especially for older individuals.
When the crisis struck, they immediately enforced their ‘Bevy Bites’ program and now deliver meals three days a week to people who had been in their lunch clubs before the crisis.
The Brighton Aldridge Community Academy / BACA and the Aldridge Foundation charity are among the partners that The Bevy pub has. These organizations greatly contribute to the project of providing meals on wheels and emergency food supplies for families that are in need and disadvantaged local community members.
This is a community pub & café deep in the center of Moulsecoomb, in East Brighton. They have served the local area for five years since its reopening.
Meals on Wheels
The Bevy pub has arranged a meals on wheels service to ensure that pub lunch regular customers forced to live in the lockdown wouldn’t starve.
The pub took action after shutting down under the government’s strict rules to prevent the propagation of coronavirus.
A dedicated group of volunteers and staff are cooking and delivering hot meals thrice a week to ensure that no elderly regular diners in the pub will go hungry.
The scheme, regarded as “Bevy Bites,” designed to cater to members of the weekly lunch clubs of the pub, that were formed to provide companionship, events, and a hearty meal for the elderly.
Helen Jones, who coordinates on-site initiatives, said that “We manage to feed a large number of people who regularly come to our elderly lunch clubs so that we can still provide them with a support system.
“We ‘re also getting a ton of requests from residents with underlying medical conditions that are on their own and would go without food if it weren’t for Bevy Bites. A lot of these folks are short of money, also quite anxious and somewhat isolated.”
Bevy Bites Partners
The pub has worked closely with local schools, churches, and other community groups to bring together an immediate response to the crisis.
The Brighton Aldridge Community Academy/ BACA has decided to join the pub in establishing a similar scheme and has been setting up a frozen meal reserve.
Meals are made in BACA’s service kitchen from excess food ingredients and fresh fruits and vegetables delivered through Bevy from FareShare Sussex, the Brighton Food Factory, and other local agencies.
The group then provides contact-free door-to-door food delivery, canned food as well as other necessities for families who need it the most.
The Aldridge Foundation made a substantial contribution of £ 10,000 to contribute to the project, allowing an extra added 400 meals each week within the next 12 weeks, to be prepared and allocated to the most helpless students and families around BACA.
BACA Chief Bob Speight says, “There are many uncertainties in the coming days and weeks, but we are eager to do everything that we can to sustain this project and help these people through such a difficult phase.
“The Academy is fortunate enough to have amazing catering facilities and a true professional chef, Ricky Hodgson, who has been committed to integrating his key role as Head of Year 10, also with leadership of this project.”
“It’s very important for me to be in a position to help out in any small measure to the community that I have been part of for so many years”, Mr. Ricky Hodgson said.
Among one of the team is Carly, a long-term BACA member, who also said, “This partnership is an important way to maintain our amazing work and consistency while continuing to support our local community in such a difficult time.”