The Hub is managed by one staff member and a bank of 8 volunteers who help with deliveries, make up food parcels, and hand out direct from the HUB. Since Monday, 16th March, we have delivered an ongoing provision to children and families five days a week to cater to the food insecurity in this community.The Hub acts as a local pick-up point for the local community to collect the pack lunches and surplus food donated/collected from partners. Also distributed have been craft items suitable for children and adults to provide stimulation that might otherwise be absent. This Hub has emerged as an essential service supporting families who would otherwise be overlooked, and many of these families would not refer to any agencies for support. From 20th April we chose to deliver this service on Tuesdays and Thursdays to support this much-needed community and will open for collection of a food parcel from 11.30 - 1.00 pm. Stockton Borough Council will assist us with essential food bags, which will be topped up with our donations to ensure these families benefit from various items to make a balanced meal.
Initially, staff and up to three volunteers were making up 26 food packs delivered with school lunches for children on free school meals who were isolating. From 23/03- 17/04 inc, we assisted SBC in delivering pack lunches for the children who would be eligible for free school meals. In total, we delivered 1600 school lunches and distributed a further 1200 from The Hub. From food and funding donations and collections, we ensured every family who received a delivery or visited the Hub also received a food package. From late April the schools began issuing food vouchers to replace the pack lunches. In some circumstances, the voucher system hasn't worked, and the need to help residents with food due to this, Universal Credit issues, self-isolation or unemployment was apparent. We have continued to buy and collect food to open The Hub Tuesdays and Thursdays to hand out food parcels, and we currently serve 80 families a week; however, this is ever-increasing. We deliver to 31 families each week who are in a position where they can't access food due to either health or financial issues. We have sourced and been donated craft packs and books proven to be as essential as the food.
Total number of parcels per week 111
An extract and update taken from our latest trustees report from Jan 2021
We have continued to buy and collect food to open The Hub Tuesdays and Thursdays to hand out food parcels, and we currently serve 100 families a week (ever-increasing). We are also delivering to 25 families each week who are in a situation where they can’t access food due to either health or financial issues. We have put together baking and recipe bags. We have sourced and been donated craft packs and books proven to be as essential as the food. 2 staff members run the Hub along with a bank of 8 volunteers who help with deliveries, making up food parcels and handing out direct from the HUB. We charge £1 per food bag and £1 for 5 toiletries.
Oct-Dec saw the project grow from just-food and essentials to collecting clothes, toys and household items donations and passing them on to families who would befit the most. We ran a winter coat campaign with Kathryn Appleby and her friends and neighbours who collected 300+ coats. These were given out to the community and shared with our partners, health visitors and social workers. We held 2 Covid safe community events, allowing people to access a 2nd community center with all the donations displayed, donations for these events totalled more than £1000.
During the October half term, we responded to the government’s decision not to provide free school meals to those eligible. We provided 200 food bags containing enough ingredients for a weeks’ worth of lunches. With amazing support from local businesses and the community, we could also provide additional food items, prepared meals, and cakes.
The service has been extended to provide Citizen Advice Bureau support and a drug and alcohol peer mentor programme for the community. Being at the community's grassroots has enabled us to work directly with families and identify specific needs. We can react quickly, and in addition to the food, we also help provide clothes, furniture, essentials etc. We continue to work closely with MIND, Stockton Welfare, Health Visitors, Social Workers, local schools, Bridges, Northstar Housing, Thirteen Group, Billingham Baby Bank, Justice First (asylum seekers), Eastern Ravens, Teesside Dementia, Five Lamps and more.
Total number of parcels to date 6000 +
CAB referrals 40
TRAC UK referrals 6