More than 400 emergency food parcels have been made up for grateful recipients by volunteers at a Carlisle community centre.
Donations of supplies from stores and community fund-raising have been supported with a grant from Cumbria County Council’s Carlisle Local Area Committee to ensure the Petteril Bank centre can keep up with demand sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
The group has been able to turn round parcels of much-needed fresh and non-perishable food within a day of a referral.
It also supports those unable to leave their homes with day-to-day tasks such as collecting shopping and medication.
Petteril Bank is also running a daily hot food delivery service for those normally in receipt of free school meals.
The school meal contract at Petteril Bank Community School is run by Steve Carney, who also operates the nearby Old Hall Cafe. He and a small band of volunteers decided they could go one better than the voucher system being used up and down the country and are now delivering 85 hot meals a day to children in the area.
Cumbria County Councillor Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Local Communities, and also one of the volunteers, said:
“It’s become quite an operation. We started off doing 20 and 30 and it’s grown to where it is now. They’re good quality meals and the service has been really well received at what is a very worrying time for many people.”