We’re looking to provide at least 9,900 free meals to vulnerable local people most in need starting next week.
We urgently need your help to pay for the food costs. Any money you can give will be a fantastic gesture to support people most at need now.
Harissa Kitchen, part of the Newcastle upon Tyne based Food Nation social enterprise CIC (03169228), is launching a free meals service for vulnerable people living in Byker, Walker, Sandyford, Ouseburn and Heaton, coordinated through the Newcastle City Council’s Citylife Line service to ensure the people most at need get the help.
All vulnerable people in the household will receive 6 days food each week, delivered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday consisting of a breakfast pot, soup and an evening meal. Weekends will also see a special treat of a cake added to the meal. We are expecting to initially serve up 540 free meals a week – and will look to expand this to 900 each week as referrals come through. We are anticipating providing at least 9,900 free meals to people that need the most help over the next three months.
The following people will be provided with support:
· Older people living alone with no other support network; who can’t leave the house due to mobility issues or are self-isolating due to health conditions but haven’t been sent an NHS letter and therefore not eligible for emergency food parcels; or who have no access to internet or cannot order online.
· Families who are self-isolating with virus symptoms with no other support system, have low or no income or can’t get a delivery slot for food.
Some people are in need of ongoing help whilst others need one-off support whilst waiting for delivery slots with supermarkets or for newly unemployed to receive benefits. No one else is offering this support to these isolated people at this scale.
The food is being prepared by trained chefs for free and will provide a varied and nutritionally balanced meals. Food will be delivered by volunteers in re-heatable containers. All food preparation and delivery will fully comply with the Government’s Covid-19 food and safety and working standards.
We are looking for funding to pay for food and volunteer travel costs. The cost for providing this service is £5 a day for one person. Food Nation receives some grant support from Newcastle City Council, but this will not cover the cost of the food or delivery. Volunteer drivers where needed will be able to claim 45p a mile expenses. Where possible we are sourcing reduced cost or donation food to reduce costs.
The cost of providing the food over 3 months is £16,500. We are also applying to local grant funders for help - but this takes time and people need our help now. The more money we raise, the more people we can help.
Food Nation is a well-respected social enterprise (CIC 03169228) that has been working with families and some of the poorest communities in Newcastle upon Tyne, helping them to make healthy food choices and improve their wellbeing. As part of this – we have run a popular community restaurant Harissa Kitchen serving great quality and nutritionally balanced food, whose profits went back into supporting our wider work. Due to the coronavirus situation, we can no longer keep our restaurant open and our premises are not suitable for takeaways.
Please donate to help as we’ve started to receive urgent referrals now. We know times are hard for everyone – but for the people we will support it will really be a lifeline.
· £5 will pay for a days food for a vulnerable person
· £30 will pay for a weeks food for one person
The people identified have no support networks to help them, and are struggling now. This service will provide a much needed short term lifeline. Requests already received include:
- 'I'm visually impaired and autistic. I also have depression, anxiety and Diabetes Type 2. I'm having difficulties getting medication and food and can't get an online delivery slot.'
- 'Me and my 9yr old daughter both have symptoms of COVID 19 and need to self isolate. I need help to get food. I have financial difficulties and am struggling to manage as my next Universal Credit isn't due until 14th April. I don't have enough money to pay for my gas and electric.'
'She has no food at home and has a young daughter and I feel she needs priority. She does not receive any benefits and relies solely on food banks.'
Food Nation are also providing a ‘Food Nation Friend’ befriending service for isolated people and food shopping service for people who can cook but cannot leave the house. They are also linking people into wider support and ensuring they have access to advice and support networks to combat isolation including their newly remodelled Virtual Tuesday Lunch Club.
Please share on social media #HarissaKitchenFoodRescue and ask your friends, family and colleagues to help as well.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram #@harissakitchen