Since the beginning of March, WAND UK has run a food delivery service for 70 vulnerable households each week. We delivered to families and individuals in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster boroughs.
An overview from Grace (volunteer):
At the beginning of the lockdown, I was asked to help Marcus with WAND UK deliveries. As soon as I met the team of volunteers helping with this project, I instantly knew it was something I wanted to help with during the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone was kind and friendly and our clients receiving the food were so grateful.
With some struggles of sourcing food mid-way through the pandemic, we were lucky enough to find, firstly, Melanie at North Kensington Community Kitchen, who allowed us to use Notting Hill Community Church as our new hub. Secondly, Holy Trinity Brompton with the Love Your Neighbour (LYN) programme allowed us to order large quantities of long life and dry foods each week to add to our bags.
Without this support we would have really struggled to feed our clients. Additionally, we worked with Meg Fry at the Home Cafe Community kitchen, who provided around 75 cooked meat meals each week for collection in Earlsfield. Thank you to her efforts in cooking for us and providing delicious meals each week! Thank you to City Harvest and GMGG UK for delivering a range of cooked food and fresh produce each week. Lastly, St Pauls Church in Hammersmith organised, collected and stored UK Harvest frozen meals and fruit and vegetables each week. Without the help of this church, we would have struggled to store all the food which was donated. Thank you, Alistair and Ian, for being so kind and helpful to us.
Thanks also to Lucinda Bantoft who, with all her hard work, provided enormous amounts of donations each week. For a consistent month, she was collecting enough food donations via the Nextdoor app and local neighbours to feed our 120 shielding clients.
Whilst delivering food parcels, it became apparent that there were other needs I could help address. To that end, we decided to initiate the collection of household appliances and clothes, which we then distributed to our families. We were able to provide 6 microwaves, a dishwasher, a washing machine, a musical keyboard, 8 TVs, iPads and other goods to our families in need. Mothers and children were also given clothes, nappies, formula milk and toys. It was an overwhelming task, but worth every minute.
Without Lucinda, and our teams of volunteers packing, sorting and delivering week after week, this project would have not been able to function. Thank you to Monique and Jonathan for coordinating a smooth transition from one hub to another and all your support during this project.
To all our volunteer drivers and helpers, and our band of generous food providers, thank you for all your efforts. WAND UK will always support you and be thankful. Thank you to everyone involved.