Community comes together in Broomgrove to feed those most in need

After its previous foodbank closed there’s a new community led initiative on the Broomgrove estate making sure local people in need have access to the food they need.

Due to concerns around the complexity of operating during the Coronavirus crisis, a foodbank that had been operating in the Broomgrove Community Centre closed in March.

But Pat Weaver, Group Support Worker at Hastings Voluntary Action (HVA), Gill Hazell, Chair of the Broomgrove Residents Association and Jackie Gaunt, Project Manager at Oasis community project, recognised there was still a need for food support in the area and decided to do something about it.

So a new team was established. supported by In2Play and Dom’s Food Mission and within 14 days everything was up and running with the service opening on April 14th, to provide food for 121 people, including children and many over 65s who were simply unable to get to a supermarket.

In2Play Project Co-ordinator Jacqui Le Put said they decided their best option was to use an already tried and tested system and went with Dom’s Food Mission: “Dom fully endorsed us adopting his Covid -19 structure. We meticulously planned the process and established a way of working that everybody could deal with.”

Dom Warren, CEO Dom’s Food Mission says: “We pride ourselves on helping as many people eat as we can and for always doing our best to improve. Having seen the wonderful group of people within the Broomgrove scene and the heart that’s in the volunteers my charity was instantly on board to help as much as we can!”

Pat Weaver, of HVA added: “The service can now roll out to more residents. This is a doorstep community initiative, the Broomgrove Estate is the priority, however no one will go away empty handed if there is enough food and hopefully more people from the Broomgrove Estate can register, bring a bag and take advantage of this much needed provision”.

The Scheme is open to all Broomgrove residents who register first by calling the number on the Broomgrove Community Centre noticeboard.

All Hastings residents who need support, or their friends, family or carers, can contact Hastings Borough Council on a special helpline: 01424 451019, open 9am – 5pm Monday – Thursday, 9am – 4.30 pm Friday.

Support is also available from HEART (Hastings Community Response Team). Visit the Hastings Heart website to ask for help with shopping, collecting medications, posting mail, dog walking or other errands and support: www.hastingsheart.com

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