Renfrewshire Council

37,000 meals delivered to Renfrewshire residents

More than 37,000 meals have been delivered so far to Renfrewshire residents during lockdown.

Food packages Support packs including freshly prepared meals, toiletries and dry goods like cereal and tea bags are being distributed daily to more than 1,200 households by Renfrewshire Council.

Teams from across the council, which includes redeployed staff, have been prepping and cooking fresh meals, packing bags, procuring items, managing the request hotline and delivering food parcels to the doors of those most in need in the community, all while adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

The large-scale, seven-day operation to get supplies to individuals and families in need is being undertaken by staff in dedicated distribution sites at Castlehead and Park Mains High Schools. The work being done is receiving an outpouring of support from the local community.

One service-user recovering from COVID-19 was delighted with her parcel. She contacted the team and said: "You can't believe what a big smile it put on my face." She added that she felt "very lucky to be looked after."

Another service user contacted the helpline with an urgent request for a delivery for her family. The team turned the request around in less than 24 hours and included Easter eggs in the parcel for her three children. The customer offered a very warm thank you to staff saying she was grateful she now had Easter eggs to give to her children. 

This represents a combined effort by teams and individuals across the council coming together to provide this vital service to the community.

What do our staff have to say?

Facilities Manager, Seonaid O'Neil, was responsible for setting up the service. She said: "It's been a combined effort, so many people have been willing to help. Everyone recognises the benefit of what we're doing.

"It's challenging but it's also really rewarding. When we started we didn't realise how big it would become, but when you get feedback from people in the community it really makes you take notice of the positive impact it's having. We are so proud of how all our staff have adapted to the new challenges they have been faced with, to ensure these services are delivered "

The teams at these sites are working hard to deliver this service but are also making the most of their downtime. At Park Mains High School a sponsored charity cycle has been set up to raise funds for Brightest Star that staff can participate in by using exercise bikes from the gym. The more musically gifted team members have been performing songs for the team to keep spirits up.

What's next?

The team continue to respond to growing demand for the service, with a third distribution site set to open next week at Gleniffer High School. The site will be operated by Amey with Renfrewshire Council overseeing the operation.

The local assistance helpline is available to anyone who needs it whether it be for financial reasons or for those currently shielding. Anyone in need of help is encouraged to contact the helpline on 0300 300 0230. You can find out more here.

A number of partners have played an important role in supported the service including businesses based locally including Ikea at Braehead and The Range on Renfrew Road.

How can I help?

We know that many of you are ready and willing to support those who are experiencing hardship. There has been a tremendous outpouring of kindness from groups and individuals across Renfrewshire.

But it's important that you only help if you are well. If you'd like to find out more about how to get involved visit our Communities, charity and volunteering page.