In March 2020 Croydon Voluntary Action responded to the COVID-19 crisis and people facing food poverty by becoming a collection point for donations and the re-distribution of food and essentials to vulnerable people in the community experiencing food poverty and/or having to self-isolate. Working in partnership throughout the pandemic, CVA has coordinated emergency supplies for a growing number of Foodbanks, Soup Kitchens, community groups and faith organisations – a network with 56 members.
We work in collaboration with local businesses, charities and agencies such as Fare Share, Harvest UK and City Harvest, to collate food donations at our CVA Resource Centre on London Road and then distribute them to 22 Food banks on average every week.
We have been hosting the Croydon Food Bank and Soup Kitchen Network since March 2020 to share information, partnership and funding opportunities, identify gaps/needs as well as resources and influence decision making locally. We know that many food banks and soup kitchens are at breaking point operating without funding throughout the crisis to support increasing numbers of people experiencing food poverty in the fall out from COVID-19.
Under an exciting new initiative funded by the GLA we will support six partners to run a Food Hub in each locality backed by a Croydon-wide campaign to increase donations of food, clothes and essentials through a central re-distribution hub and to recruit and manage volunteers (and volunteer drivers) to support the Food Hubs.