The PNECET Community Support food provision service has now ended after a successful summer of providing support to vulnerable families in Preston and the surrounding areas.
Preston North End Community and Education Trust took over the running of a unit on Fulwood Retail Park, which had previously operated as the NHS Heroes Hub earlier on in the Coronavirus pandemic and provided NHS workers with an exclusive store to shop for goods at a time of high demand for supplies.
Following the closure of that service, the PNECET Community Support Hub was formed in collaboration with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals and Naeem Din, the initial founder of the NHS Heroes Hub.
Utilising leftover goods from the Heroes Hub, as well as having further stock generously donated by Morrisons Riversway and Warburtons, essential food deliveries have been made to children and families most in need in the local area.
PNECET Inclusion Manager Melissa Brown said: “We were very lucky to inherit the hub for the remaining weeks of the summer holidays and we have had very kind donations from Morrisons and Warburtons to keep it going.
“It’s important that the community can see we are giving back at such an important time and helping out families with donating foods and taking those to their doorsteps.”
Food deliveries were made to children on our Happy Holiday Club programme, intended to support children who traditionally receive free school meals in term time through the summer holidays.
The programme had commenced at Ingol Community Primary School and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, combinining physical activity and food provision, but was prematurely ended because of local lockdown measures in Preston.
Instead, 195 food hampers were delivered to children and their families in Ribbleton and Ingol, who should have been accessing the programme but for lockdown measures.
The food has also been utilised as part of the Tackling Loneliness Together programme, particularly as part of ‘Garden Gate’ visits to existing participants of PNECET programmes, who are in the vulnerable category and continuing to shield against COVID-19.
We have also delivered 32 food crates to a range of local partners, including the Sahara Centre, Ingol Food Bank, St Stephen’s Food Bank, St Christopher’s Food Bank, Noor Food Bank at Noor Mosque, the British Red Cross and the Foxton Centre, and will continue signposting those in need to relevant services such as these.