Camden Council and Age UK Camden pilot emergency food delivery measures for vulnerable residents

Camden Council is set to pair up with Age UK Camden to pilot a delivery of emergency food packages as it looks to ensure that no-one goes hungry as a result of the coronavirus.

Government advice issued on Monday, 23 March 2020 states that residents should now only go out shopping for basic necessities and as infrequently as possible. However, we know this is impossible for some people who are stuck at home, either ill or self-isolating, and who do not have a neighbour or friend to help them do their shopping.

To test how a much larger scheme might look, from Tuesday, 24 March 2020, Camden Council and Age UK Camden will deliver up to 600 food packages a week to Camden residents who are housebound and unable to purchase food.

Residents will be able to get a food parcel if they are approaching a food crisis – meaning they have only two days’ worth, or less, of food at home. The emergency package will contain milk, bread, butter, eggs, biscuits, tea, coffee, tinned food, cereal, toilet roll and soap, and will be available to residents who meet the above criteria, regardless of age.

Crucially, such a scheme would seek not only to help residents without support who are self-isolating, but also residents experiencing food poverty as a knock on effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

Camden Council will support this by providing Age UK Camden with £20,000 funding, drivers and vehicles and an initial six Camden staff, redeployed from Camden’s libraries.

This scheme will be just one part of a whole package of measures to keep Camden fed. The next stage to Camden Council’s work with Age UK Camden could also see a link-up with delivery company Deliveroo to deliver affordable hot meals to residents over the age of 70. Camden Council will publish more information on this additional service as soon as this is available.

Camden residents meeting the criteria can get a food package by:

  • A direct referral to the service from Age UK Camden or Camden Council
  • By calling Age UK Camden on 0207 8373777
  • By calling Camden Council on 020 7974 4444 (option 9)
Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council
“We know there are many reasons our residents may not have access to food at the moment. They may be too ill, self-isolating as other family members are showing symptoms, or they may have other major pressures such as a loss or work or simply not have space to store the food they need. If these residents cannot get out of the house, or do not have someone who can help get them shopping – Camden Council is here to help.

“This partnership with Age UK Camden is just the first of several partnerships we are forming with community organisations, charities and businesses to ensure no-one in Camden should have to go hungry as a result of the coronavirus. 

“I can also announce we are investing £50,000 in local food banks to double staffing levels, increase storage space, provide vehicles and drivers to deliver food, and buy more food, for those people who are still able to get out but are experiencing food poverty.”
Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council
“We are very pleased to be working with Camden Council to ensure those most in need receive essential everyday supplies during this crisis. Since mid-March, we have been providing emergency support packs to local older people experiencing a shortage of food and last week delivered 200 emergency food packages within 72 hours. There is a very real need for support in our community which can only be solved by effective partnerships.”
Nikki Morris, CEO of Age UK Camden