One hundred and ninety-seven families impacted by COVID-19 have received pre-packaged essential food boxes through Swale Borough Council’s COVID Winter Support Scheme.
The scheme is a partnership between the council, West Faversham Community Centre and Diversity House, who have processed and delivered a total of 398 food boxes to residents’ doors, supporting 707 people across the borough since its launch last month.
The boxes have been a helping hand to those who have had a change in their financial situation, received a positive covid test, are self-isolating following contact from the NHS Test and Trace system or experiencing a change of personal circumstances because of the pandemic.
Nine different pre-packaged essential food boxes including essentials such as pasta, soup, fruit, cereal, toilet roll and handwash, alongside vegetarian, Free-From, Afro-Caribbean, Eastern European, and Asian boxes to meet the various dietary, cultural and religious needs of local residents are available, and each box provides enough food for seven days.
Cllr Richard Palmer, cabinet member for community at Swale Borough Council, told SFM News: "The winter support scheme is a new service that is in direct response to those who are suffering hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far we’ve delivered 355 pre-packaged essential food boxes to people who are struggling to feed their families. West Faversham Community Centre and Diversity House have been working hard to process applications and deliver boxes to people’s doors."
He went on to add: "We’re aiming to deliver a minimum of 2,000 boxes this winter, so I encourage anyone who has received a reduction in income, loss of employment, positive covid test result or other change in personal circumstance due to the pandemic to get in touch. Once your application is submitted, our community support team will carry out an assessment. If successful, an essential food box will be delivered to you within a couple of days. We know this has been a difficult year for people and we’re doing everything we can to help support families experiencing exceptional hardship this winter.”
For more information, or to apply for the winter grant scheme please visi:t www.swale.gov.uk/cwgs.
To be eligible people must:
- have recently been made unemployed within the last two months and are still out of work
- have been furloughed and receiving less income
- have lost income because you cannot work from home
- are not already receiving support from Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS), local foodbanks or food support services
- are currently self-isolating because of a positive COVID-19 test or you’ve been contacted by NHS Test and Trace
- are currently receiving support from the Swale Borough Council self-isolation payments
- are leaving your home because of domestic abuse
- are currently living in temporary accommodation
- have recently been discharged from hospital.
Those NOT eligible include people who:
- are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
- continue to receive full wages
- are self-isolating without a positive COVID-19 test result or without being contacted by NHS Test and Trace
- are already regularly receiving support from KCC's KSAS (Kent Support and Assistance Service) , local foodbanks or food support services.