A trio of Stevenage–based organisations have joined forces to provide fresh food to families in desperate need during the coronavirus crisis.

The Comet: Stevenage FC has been working with the Trust to deliver the fresh food. Picture: Jim SteeleStevenage FC has been working with the Trust to deliver the fresh food. Picture: Jim Steele (Image: www.steeleimages.co.uk)

Stevenage Community Trust (SCT) has partnered with Stevenage Football Club and the Stevenage Community Food Bank to provide fruit, vegetables and a bespoke shopping service during the COVID–19 pandemic.

With financial challenges arising across the nation in recent weeks due to lockdown, SCT began thinking about those with little or no spare funds who receive food parcels from their local food bank but can’t afford to purchase fresh fruit or vegetables.

To tackle this, the Trust, working with Stevenage Community Foodbank, organised and funded delivery of a wide range of fresh produce, which includes cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, apples and more.

The duo ensured these goods were distribtued to 45 people in our area last week, who were in desperate need.

John Mead, Chair of Stevenage Community Food Bank said “We are delighted to have the support of The Stevenage Community Trust which has enabled us to provide fresh fruit and vegetables and other fresh produce for our clients.

“The challenges that the current circumstances have presented to us in Stevenage are indeed significant, but our strong sense of community and partnership mean that we are able to care and support each other through.”

SCT also wanted to ensure families coping with severe financial hardship could access other essential items, such as baby milk or food for those with allergies or intolerances.

So, the Trust set about to work with another local partner, Stevenage FC, whose volunteers kindly offered to help with a shopping and delivery service for individuals and families across the town.

Thanks to the widespread success of this initiative in its first week, Stevenage Community Trust has committed to continue funding this for the foreseeable future.

Caroline Haskins, manager of SCT, said: “For 30 years, Stevenage Community Trust has been making a difference to the lives of local people in need and our support is needed now more than ever before.

“We are grateful to Stevenage FC and the Stevenage Community Food Bank for all their help getting this initiative up and running so quickly, and most notably to our wonderful supporters whose donations have enabled us to continue providing help when and where it is needed during these uncertain times.”

This project is funded by the Stevenage Community Trust ‘Stevenage Helps’ appeal which was created specifically to support people living in our community who have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

So far, this has attracted donations of £17,764, with a further £10,000 allocated to support the over 60’s. In the past six weeks, the Trust has been able to distribute 53 grants totalling £17,108 to charities, voluntary organisations and directly to families in crisis.

You can donate to the Trust’s COVID–19 fund at virginmoneygiving.com/fund/stevenage-helps