Wirral Emergency Food Hub provides ‘lifeline’ for vulnerable residents under third national lockdown

Wirral Emergency Food Hub

A local emergency food hub has teamed up with a Merseyside’s councils once again to ensure vulnerable people do not go hungry.

Wirral’s Emergency Food Hub is a joint operation between Wirral Borough Council and Wirral Food Bank.

Following a local surge of demand for emergency food support, local churches and charity organisations have worked together to prevent poverty during the coronavirus crisis.

As of the 11th January, however, heightened coronavirus restrictions have led to critical changes to the application system.

What has changed?

Under previous rules in March, vulnerable residents were encouraged to apply for a foodbank voucher. Eligible applicants could then exchange this voucher for a 3-day supply of food at any one of Wirral Foodbank’s distribution centres.

Now, Wirral Foodbank has relocated its resources to the new emergency hub. This means future applicants will be asked a series of questions to determine individual need. If an applicant is successful, a food hamper containing a week’s supply fresh fruit, vegetables, dried and tinned food will be home delivered to the applicant’s address.

According to local Councillor Janette Williamson, this will help provide a vital lifeline for Wirral’s vulnerable residents during the lockdown.

Councillor Janette Williamson said:

For four months last year, our Emergency Food Hub provided a vital lifeline, delivering more than 18,000 food boxes to feed local people. We were able to wind it down at the end of July, when shielding restrictions were paused. COVID-19 infection rates were a fraction of what we are seeing today.

The new national lockdown and the reinstatement of shielding means that some vulnerable people and some of those self-isolating will be unable to get to the shops themselves. They may not have a support network in place to help them with essential shopping. 

This facility will help us make sure that nobody is left without the food they need.

How does it work?

The Emergency Food Hub is operated by Council staff who have been re-deployed from other services. This includes council staff from libraries and leisure centres, as well as staff and volunteers from Wirral Foodbank.

Wirral Foodbank manager, Richard Roberts, told Mersey Community News:

Once again, we will be consolidating our efforts at the Emergency Food Hub to help vulnerable people get through the weeks ahead. By working together, we have the best chance of ensuring local people do not go hungry during these challenging times. 

“Thank you to our wonderful staff and volunteers and the people of Wirral for their continued support during this difficult situation.”

How to apply for support:

If you need emergency food support during the lockdown, you can call the Wirral Coronavirus helpline for advice on 0151 666 5050. 

You can also apply for the scheme online here.

April Ryan
Follow @April_L_Ryan
Feature image courtesy of Mack Male on Flickr.