Pulling together so no one goes hungry: Bristol's Good Food Response to the pandemic

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By Topaz Maitland, SciTech Digital Editor

Bristol Food Network launches #BristolFoodKind campaign to showcase how Bristolians are sharing support through food.

Following the release of an extensive list of food support resources, the campaign is a way to showcase the amazing work happening across the city to ensure everyone has enough good food to eat during the lockdown.

Speaking about the campaign, Mayor Marvin Rees said how 'it is inspiring to see how Bristol is working together to ensure everyone in the city has access to the food they need at this challenging time.

'Thank you to everyone who is playing a part – from shop workers, to volunteers and those at home who are being mindful of what they are buying. It is really important we all pull together at this time so no one goes hungry.'

'Bristol's Good Food Response' to the pandemic details a multitude of ways to receive help, give help, cook good meals from scratch, grow your own food and reduce waste.

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Join #BristolFoodKind and support the Good Food response with small acts of food kindness from your home. ⠀ ⠀ There are lots of things you can do from home. Buying from local, independent food providers can help secure the future of Bristol’s vibrant food scene. Buying what you need and eating what you buy helps ensure there is enough for all, saves money and reduces the strain on retailers and waste collectors.⠀ ⠀ 🌽 Growing your own fruit and vegetables, however little, is great for mental wellbeing, unbeatable for freshness, and puts the food you eat in your own hands! 🤗⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #shoplocal #bristol #bristolfoodunion #shoplocal #love #support #community #spirit #savoursuppliers #bristolsupport #shopindependent #kind

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There's a wide range of opportunities to volunteer to help the community and those vulnerable, such as ACORN, which is connecting volunteer shoppers with those unable to leave home.

The Bristol Community Care - COVID-19 Facebook group of volunteers, the Matthew Tree Project and Can Do Bristol are co-ordinating support where needed.

For those in the North of Bristol there is also The Community Hub Bristol & South Glos with lots of information for both volunteers and those seeking help, whilst people can also join the NHS volunteer responders delivering essentials for those self-isolating.

The National Food Service is also calling for delivery people, phone line managers and qualified cooks (email bristol@nationalfoodservice.uk).

Donations and financial support are also vital for a range of charitable operations fighting to support food services. FareShare South West are a charity that has saved tonnes of perfectly good food from going to landfill each year and they have now launched a coronavirus emergency appeal as they are 'at the centre of an emergency operation to get food to the most vulnerable in our city and region'.

The Trussel Trust  is operating four food banks across the city, whilst the Square Food Foundation is working to distribute up to 550 meals a day to families across the city.

Coexist Community Kitchen are crowdfunding to create an emergency pandemic kitchen providing 600 meals a week.

The Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls Sports and Social Club from the Plough Inn are fundraising to support their services delivery free fresh fruit and veg boxes to those in need across the city and the Baraka Community Café are fundraising to provide food for families in need.

Where possible, supporting local, independent businesses selling food is really important, and a map of Bristol independent businesses offering home delivery and an essential shopping map highlight places to go. The Bristol Food Union website also details a range of local shops, caterers and local farmers from which to buy food.

Bristol City Council has set up  a support phone number - 0800 694 0184 - which is free to use, where people can find out how to obtain food, medication and other essentials.

For many more resources, check out https://www.bristolfoodnetwork.org/bristols-good-food-response/.

Featured image: Unsplash / Ja Ma


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