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Supporting families with food over half-term

With half-term fast approaching for Wirral’s schools, a range of local community, voluntary and faith organisations are pulling together again alongside Wirral Council to provide practical support to families.

This kind of partnership work is building on the strong foundations established at the end of March when individuals and groups came together with the shared aim of providing emergency food to everyone that needed it as the impact of the ‘lockdown’ was hitting.

The Emergency Food Hub was the centre of those activities - delivering nearly 18,000 food hampers and providing more than 6,400 food and fuel vouchers to Wirral households over the course of four months, but it was supported by a number of other groups providing help within their own neighbourhoods.

The help being provided next week will see breakfasts, hot meals, lunch boxes, activity packs and other practical support given to local families in need.

Some of this activity is the result of groups bidding for grants from the Wirral COVID-19 Food and Essential Supplies Fund, administered by the council. Groups were able to bid for up to £3,000 out of the £75,000 made available under the fund to run specific projects.

A number of groups are using their grant to provide support over October half-term, which is in addition to any help that individual schools may be providing and services that operate year-round, such as Wirral Foodbank and social supermarkets.

Wirral Council leader, Cllr Janette Williamson, said: “It is widely acknowledged that many families in poverty and in need of support are working families. This has been worsened by Covid where we have seen businesses close and people lose their jobs. We must not allow our parents to feel that they are alone in this.

“We remain committed to supporting people in need and we are committed to making every effort to ensure that every child on free school meals has access to food this half-term.

“The Food and Essential Supplies Fund we set up when the emergency food hub stood down is helping us ensure Wirral’s dedicated community-based organisations and groups are supported to do what they best – serve their local community.

“As well as through each of the below groups, help can also be requested via Council’s Coronavirus Helpline on 666 5050.”

The list of organisations, what they are providing and contact details are as follows:-

  • Building Bridges, Bray Street, Birkenhead: Hot lunches and activities. Monday to Friday, 10am-3.30pm (lunch served between 1pm and 2pm). buildingbridgeswirralcic@gmail.com
  • Leasowe Millennium Centre, Twickenham Drive, Leasowe: Food boxes and activity packs. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10am-3pm. jenni@wirraldt.org.uk
  • Sandbrook Community Centre, Sunningdale, Chapelhill Road, Moreton: Lunch packs and activity packs. moira@wirraldt.org.uk  
  • Carrbridge Centre, Woodchurch: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 9am-12.30pm. Meals and activities (with activity packs available for children unable to attend in person). carrbridgemakeithappen@gmail.com
  • Core Project, Clover Drive, Bidston Rise: Meals, packed lunches, and activities - collection and local delivery available. Corebirkenhead@outlook.com
  • Gautby Road Youth, Play, and Community Centre, Bidston/Birkenhead. Daily packed lunches and activity packs. luke@gautbyroad.co.uk
  • Rock Ferry Salvation Army Church, Old Chester Road. Family food hampers and activities. myrtle.lacey@salvationarmy.org.uk
  • Hope for New Brighton at New Brighton Baptist Church: Food bags and recipe cards. shirlmbowen@gmail.com
  • Charlotte's Brightside, Molyneux Drive, New Brighton: Cooking ingredients and activities (mainly deliveries). angie.churchill@yahoo.co.uk
  • Bee Wirral, St Anne Street, Birkenhead: Food bags and activity packs. rach@beewirral.co.uk
  • Oak Community Project, Christ The King Church, St Anne Street, Birkenhead. Lunch Bags and Activity Packs (available for collection or delivery on Monday). den.price59@gmail.com 
  • Shaftesbury Youth Club, Prenton: Monday to Friday, 9.30am-3pm. Breakfast, lunch bags, and activities. michellenaylor@shaftes.org.uk
  • Nightingales, Argyle Street, Birkenhead: Hampers for Wirral Ways clients with children. damien.prescott@cgl.org.uk
  • The Positivitree, Bloom Building, Abbey Close, Birkenhead: Healthy grab bags and craft workshop. rachel@thepositivitree.com
  • Cre8ing Careers - Wirral-wide: Food hampers and activities. lynne.howe@crea8ingcareers.com
  • Neo Community: Support for families in Rock Ferry. ema@neocommunity.org.uk

As well as the help being offered throughout the half term break, a wide range of food support is available to people during the health emergency, including:

  • Wirral Infobank: A great online resource for local support and services, including help with shopping, social supermarkets (offering cut price food) and hot food deliveries – visit www.wirralinfobank.co.uk.
  • Priority supermarket delivery slots: From Iceland or Tesco are available for people who are vulnerable or self-isolating. Residents can apply by calling Wirral’s Coronavirus helpline on 0151 666 5050.  The helpline can also advise on assistance that may be available from Age UK Wirral for anyone digitally excluded.
  • Help with shopping: Several local charities provide a shopping service for vulnerable people and for those self-isolating. To be referred please call Wirral Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050 or complete a form online www.wirral.gov.uk/welfaresupport.
  • Food for people in crisis: Anyone requiring crisis food support and who cannot pay for the food they need can apply for an emergency food parcel by calling the Coronavirus helpline on 0151 666 5050. Applicants will be asked a few questions to determine their eligibility and, if successful, will be given a unique code that can be exchanged for a food parcel from Wirral Foodbank. Help is also available for people unable to collect food.
  • Financial help with food: Financial help is available for those most in need and who have a specific food requirement due to a medical or health condition and/or religious or cultural requirement. Apply online at www.wirral.gov.uk/welfaresupport or by calling the Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050.