‘We need more’ - plea for food to help town’s struggling families during coronavirus crisis

Tony Goldson (inset) and other volunteers are helping Halesworth residents through the coronavirus p

Tony Goldson (inset) and other volunteers are helping Halesworth residents through the coronavirus pandemic Picture: MIKE PAGE/SCC - Credit: Archant

Community leaders in a north Suffolk town have rallied together to help keep residents fed during the coronavirus crisis - but say they still need donations as the lockdown continues.

Halesworth Town Council’s Covid-19 Response Group has launched a voucher scheme to ensure those who are either isolating, vulnerable or are experiencing financial difficulties can still put food on the table.

Residents can apply for a fresh fruit, vegetable and meat voucher to exchange for food in a selection of the town’s independent stores in the high street.

The town council has contributed significant funds to pay for the vouchers. David Wollweber, chairman of Halesworth Town Council, said the scheme has the added benefit of ensuring smaller stores continue to trade while customers are forced to stay at home under government guidelines.

He said: “We have various people in mind. Supporting the businesses remains important. “There are many people in our area that are self-employed or have been furloughed, meaning their income may be greatly reduced.

“We want people to apply for the scheme if they need it. We have not forgotten them.”

Meanwhile, a foodbank project has also been set up for residents of Halesworth and beyond, as many families readjust to life in the crisis.

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A total of 14 collection points have been set up throughout the area, as kind-hearted neighbours leave donations for those in need.

Food and essentials are taken to St Mary’s Church in the town, before packages are either collected or delivered by volunteers.

But Suffolk county councillor Tony Goldson, who is helping manage the scheme with Emma Healey, of Halesworth Volunteer Centre, said further donations are required as demand continues throughout the pandemic.

He added: “Between us we decided we had to get things done. Our concern is getting people the food they need.

“We are covering everything that we possibly can. There are a lot of people in the area who are elderly, vulnerable or are isolating.

“But this is not going to get any easier and we need more.”

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