Between April and September, EVOC worked in partnership with 30 third sector organisations and the City of Edinburgh Council to support vulnerable people to access food and other assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work built on the early responses from community organisations in the first weeks of the crisis.
It was an extremely successful partnership and we estimate that by the end of the programme 25,000 weeks’ worth of food will have been delivered to people across Edinburgh.
This funding comes to an end at the end of September, and as expected following the lifting of lockdown measures, we have seen the numbers of referrals steadily reduce to under 50 a week.
With cases rising again we of course remain alert to the potential for demand to increase. In the meantime, the Council’s helpline (0131 200 2306) established at the beginning of lockdown, remains open, and after 30th September staff from Social Care Direct will support people by signposting to a range of statutory and third sector services.
The Food Fund was intended to be short-term crisis funding for support required as a direct result of COVID-19, and yet it has highlighted the issue of food insecurity more broadly. The city of Edinburgh Council is keen to work with the third sector to address this in the longer term, particularly looking at relevant recommendations from the Edinburgh Poverty Commission, which will be published on 30th September 2020.