Feed The Need Coalville - Measuring the impact of the County Council Community Fund (April to August 2020)
Feed The Need is a volunteer group who are committed to improving the lives of disadvantaged individuals and families living in Coalville and thier surrounding areas. They Provide food and essentials for those on very low incomes. The impact that the project as had on the service uses has been highlighted in the case studies below
Case Study 1
K is a nurse and the mother of 3 teenagers and a baby. They live in Ellistown. K is unable to work on health grounds and is waiting for an operation. Her partner, M, has Covid-19 Coronavirus and is unable to work. The whole family had been in self-isolation over a long period of time.
We took them several 'County' food bags and additional fresh food when we could. When we found out that their daughter is about to have her 14th birthday and the family have no means to celebrate it, we organised a donation of professionally-made cupcakes and our volunteers all contribute gifts which are taken round on the day.
I gave K some advice about other sources of financial help she could investigate, and she gave feedback on her progress.
Although M recovered from the virus and their self-isolation ended, K's poor health means she is unable to take care of her family and M cannot work as he looks after the baby full time. We continued to support them with weekly food bags delivered to their home, if they cannot attend the food bank.
We keep in touch with K mostly via our Facebook messages and she is always very appreciative of our help. She also sends photographs of the baby and her daughter with the cupcakes.
"It is really amazing what you do I will be donating things back when we r back on our feet every week my partner suggested that, and I said I would tell you
Thank you all so much you are all truly outstanding and we are so grateful for your generosity and to say your all doing this in your spare time you are all truly amazing xxx"
Case Study 2
J is a middle-aged man, living alone on an outer estate in Coalville, who has a long history of mental health problems. He was referred to us by his community psychiatric nurse, who knows me personally, and is very supportive of Feed the Need Coalville.
Prior to the Covid 19 Coronavirus J was able to use the local shops for food shopping, although this did cause him a lot of anxiety. He prefers to be at home and does not go out to socialise at all. He has no family or friends that we are aware of.
Once lockdown began, J would not leave the house at all and that is when FTNC first became involved. Since that time, we have taken him a weekly bag of food. He told me that in the last three months he has eaten better than he ever did before which is rather sad, considering that our bags are inevitably rather basic and are not able to be very varied or suitable as a long term diet.
On the occasions we have managed to get fresh fruit and vegetables, people like J will often be the recipients of some of those and I know that volunteers and committee members will dip into their own pockets to supply additional items and treats.
In the early days J would just call us to say when he was getting low on food but as time has gone on he has become much more chatty and feels confident to express himself and sustain the conversations in a friendly manner.
I know that as the lockdown is coming to an end J's nurse will want to encourage him to gradually venture out to the shops again. I have reassured him that we will not suddenly withdraw our support and that he can count on us for as long as he needs to.
"Feed the Need has had a tremendous impact on me – I don't know what I would have done without you I really don't"
Case Study 3
V is a man in his early 70's. We first knew about V when his sister rang to tell us that he was usually resident in Ellistown but was currently in hospital recovering from a heart attack. She got our contact details from the local authority. His sister was very concerned that he would be discharged from hospital to an empty house without food. She would be able to take some food to him on his first day at home, but she was self-isolating and was unwell herself.
I promised we would provide a bag of food the day after his discharge and that we would see that there were items he could heat up quickly in his microwave and could be made using boiling water from a kettle.
Some of our volunteers wanted to take him home-cooked meals from their own houses but we had to explain that we are bound by food safety regulations which would not permit that. However, we did manage to source commercially produced frozen and ambient meals which required little preparation and were reasonably nutritious.
Each week when the foodbank is held one of the volunteers packs him a bag and selects suitable foods to deliver alongside some cleaning materials and toiletries. She says he is always pleased to see her and is very grateful for whatever she takes.
Sadly, V's recovery has been hampered which has made it difficult for him to eat anything but very liquid foods. We learned he had accumulated a stock of food that he currently can not eat so we have stopped sending food until we know what he needs. The volunteer is keeping in touch with him.
At some point we will review V's needs but, in the meantime we are happy to continue to support him while he recovers and until he is well enough to shop for himself.
One of our funding receivers has written a poem on the impact that the project has had on the service user
THE SPIRIT OF THE BLITZ
The worst of all times to be discharged
Everyone in lockdown
Cold house, empty cupboards
A lonely place in a deserted town
There's no-one to talk to
Make me a cup of tea
Make sure I take my medicines
Keep an eye on me
Someone brought a food bag
I struggled to lift
Same someone smiled and waved at me
I thanked them for my gift
Tins of stuff I could heat in the micro
And packets that only need hot water
I made some toast and some chunky soup
And telephoned my daughter
Next day smiley girl's back with meals for my freezer
I know I can't but I wanted to give her a kiss
It took me back to years gone by
To the spirit of the Blitz!
- Thu, 08 Oct 2020