For all of us we have had to change and adapt to the world and our lives that have been consumed by COVID 19.
It has been reported widely in the media the responsibility that local councils have been given to house rough sleepers in temporary accommodation and to keep the vulnerable in society safe. This is to encourage self-isolation and we all have a part to play in this.
Newbury Soup Kitchen has had to change what we can provide and the way we are going to do that almost on a daily basis.
We have helped where we can to identify the people who need help and to signpost new people, especially rough sleepers and sofa surfers that come to our attention.
This week has been very hard for Newbury Soup Kitchen. We have had to make a difficult decision. We changed our sessions to “take away food” in order to help with social distancing and we opened new sessions every day from the back of our van that has been donated by Swift Couriers.
Sadly we have had to adapt again. It has been decided to close our Thursday take away sessions and our sessions in the Wharf that have been running everyday and to change to a delivery service instead.
We are doing this because sadly our clients are struggling to self isolate and conform with social distancing. Hopefully if we close and provide food in way of deliveries we hope this will help reduce this issue. We also have to keep ourselves safe and it is difficult to keep our distance from each other and our clients when we are serving food from the back of a van. Now the numbers of COVID 19 are increasing in West Berkshire it seems the right time to do this.
As a result of Government Directives it has been necessary for West Berkshire Council with the support of ourselves and other statutory organisations to work as a team to ensure people are off the streets into temporary accommodation and are provided with food.
The new Wharf sessions each week were very successful so we will pick those up again when this terrible situation is over.
Donations have reduced hugely over the last week or so.
Now we are providing “grab bag” type meals therefore please we are requiring biodegradable oyster bags and soup cups with lids. Our Amazon Wish list is updated often so everything on it is up to date. https://amzn.to/2fYwyJz
Soft drinks, crisps and snacks to compliment our cooked meals and sandwiches are also required. Co-Op at Wash Common and Brummell Road have donation bins which is amazing. Please donate if you can, it is a huge help we will be providing over 250 meals a week so we will require lots of biodegradable take away boxes and Soup cups with lids.
We have a new project on The Good Exchange which reflects the Soup Kitchen and our hoped expansion for the future of finding a building and of course COVID 19 funding.
We would like to take this opportunity in thanking you for all your support and ask you to bear with us and help us as much as you are able during this difficult time.
If you are struggling for food or you know someone who is you can contact The West Berkshire Foodbank. They themselves are under tremendous pressure to provide food to those in food crisis. They have donation bins around the town especially in a Waitrose and Sainsburys Newbury.
They are desperate please for UHT milk and tinned meat. Some days they are giving 1 tonne of food out to vulnerable families who are in food crisis.
Please spare a thought for the charities that are working long hours to provide the help needed during this difficult time.