COVID 19 has given us no option but to change and adapt the day to day running of Newbury Soup Kitchen food provision sessions.
Early on it became apparent that we had to rethink how we could and continue to provide food to vulnerable people in our community. Now June 2021 and the hope that restrictions will slowly be lifting it has left us still with the need to keep safety and safeguarding for all a priority.
We have been feeding people including rough sleepers and people in food poverty on different days of the week. Thursdays (January 2017) are still Take away from the doorway of the Salvation Army Hall and Saturdays (November 18) in The Wharf from the back of our old Transit van. This is not safe for many reasons especially volunteer safety and COVID. Many of our clients are exempt, do not socially distance and will not have COVID Vaccines there for it is a risk for all. Occasionally we do have safeguarding issues that may involve anti-social behaviour so this can put the volunteers and clients at risk. On top of this not to mention throughout the winter especially the wind and rain, it can be miserable standing out in the cold for everyone.
With all this in mind it has been decided to buy and convert a van. This means we can be more flexible with our food provision and expand the number of sessions per week. We are intending to open on a Wednesday from the Wharf from August 2021. Funding has come from three sources Newbury Freemasons, MCKS Foundation and Berkshire Community Fund. This vehicle will also enable us to use it for fundraising events and awareness. WE are excited and looking forward to using this wonderful vehicle…..it is big though!!