Closing the café has not stopped the work of Inverness Foodstuff – in fact we are busier than ever!
On 12 March 2020 the Board made the decision to close the café in light of the Covid-19 pandemic – and set up a take-away food distribution point outside Ness Bank Church on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to ensure that our participants were still able to access food. By being ahead of the curve we were able to set up proper processes and procedures to ensure that we were complying with all the new health & safety advice – and on the 24 March Highland Council confirmed that we were an ‘essential’ service and so able to operate during lockdown.
On 25 March, to support our operations manager, who is working hard from home, we employed an additional worker who oversees the operation on the ground and ensure we can meet the increase in demand for our services. They have put together a fantastic regular team of volunteers ( donation collectors/shoppers; cooks; hall team packing meals and food and the distribution team) and together – and with the increased partnership work this crisis demands – we are now operating 5 days a week! Take-away meals and food supplies allow us to provide food to cover 7 days a week for: our participants; for those referred from the Highland Council helpline; the NHS, individuals and other agencies, including Women’s’ Aid. We work with Highland Council’s Housing team to provide meals daily for those living in homeless accommodation across the city.
In April we distributed over 3,600 meals – a tremendous achievement that would not have been possible without the dedication of our team and the amazing donations or grants from the public, businesses and organisations who have provided funds, materials and food.
And …………going forward, we are working to ensure the project continues to meet the needs of those in our community who remain disadvantaged and vulnerable in these challenging times.