County council oversees delivery of thousands of food parcels to vulnerable Hertfordshire residents

PUBLISHED: 16:56 09 May 2020

10,000 food parcels have been delivered to vulnerable Hertfordshire residents since the coronavirus outbreak began. Picture: Archant

10,000 food parcels have been delivered to vulnerable Hertfordshire residents since the coronavirus outbreak began. Picture: Archant

Archant

More than 10,000 food parcels have been delivered to vulnerable residents in Hertfordshire since the outbreak of COVID–19, it has been revealed.

Across the county there are known to be more than 24,500 who are ‘extremely vulnerable’ to the virus – and who have been advised to ‘self-isolate’ for 12 weeks.

For those who can’t be supported by family and friends, the county council is co-ordinating the essential delivery of food parcels and medicines.

At a meeting of the county council’s special cabinet panel on Wednesday (May 6) it was reported that the council had overseen the delivery of 10,870 food parcels to vulnerable residents.

It was also reported that volunteers from Hertfordshire police and the county’s Fire and Rescue Service have delivered more than 300 prescriptions too.

However there were some concerns raised at the meeting that some residents had received food parcels they had not needed – and others had received parcels that didn’t meet their dietary requirements.

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Helen Maneuf, assistant director of planning and resources, told councillors that in addition to the operation being co-ordinated by the council, some parcels were being issued by the government.

She said that whereas the council called residents before sending out the parcels, the government did not.

Ms Maneuf added that there was a way for residents to contact the government directly, but she accepted that this wasn’t a particularly easy process to manage.

Meanwhile, it was also reported to councillors that 9,500 volunteers had been recruited to support those in self-isolation or considered vulnerable, but who had not received a letter from the NHS.

But that there had been “some frustration” from volunteers who had not yet been allocated a role.

“A surge of requests is expected from voluntary sector organisations for more volunteers but as of yet, this has not materialised,” says the report.

“However, it is recognised that there will come a time when the organisations will need to build on their current resources; take on more volunteers to meet demand and ensure their core volunteers can take a well-earned rest. It is assumed that the most vulnerable residents are going to need support from their communities for some considerable time.”


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