We are working with the City of Edinburgh Council, Caring in Craigmillar, Cyrenians, Pilton Equalities Project and Space to deliver food to those who need it. The City of Edinburgh Council is following a cash first principle in terms of supporting those in crisis, and this has currently kept demand very low. We are aware that this could change very quickly given a new lockdown and the programme will evolve according to need. (You can read an overview of this approach from the City of Edinburgh Council below.)
If you are aware of people in crisis please encourage them to call 0131 200 2388, or apply online.
This short term crisis work does not replace plans to bring organisations together across Edinburgh to develop a partnership approach to addressing food insecurity in the longer term, particularly in light of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission’s call to action.
“City of Edinburgh Council, EVOC and local organisations must continue to fund, co-ordinate and operate services to provide quality fresh food to citizens who experience food insecurity, avoiding a return to reliance on food banks. Our call to improve income security is key to replacing the need for food provision, combined with action to develop place-based approaches to bring together healthy eating, sustainability and community development.”
You can also read our most recent blog by Roisin Hurst (Development Worker) which reflects on 2020 and COVID-19 Food Fund Project.
City of Edinburgh Council and EVOC Partnership Approach: Support for Citizens
As a result of Scottish Government funding the City of Edinburgh Council has recommenced a range of activities to support people facing financial hardship over the winter months. The Scottish Government has again emphasised the principles of choice and a cash-first approach, and this approach is endorsed by the Council.
Similar to earlier initiatives, requests for support will be coordinated through the Council’s Contact Centre (0131 200 2388) to establish whether direct financial support is available e.g. Isolation Grant, Crisis Grant, compensatory payments for the loss of Free School Meals etc. Citizens will also be signposted to alternative areas of support to address additional issues they may be experiencing to offer a holistic and tailored solution to service users.
Where direct financial support is not available, or not required, arrangements have been put in place to support a network of food deliveries across the city. The Council worked successfully with EVOC, supported by local partners, throughout the first months of the pandemic to deliver food packages across the city. Building on this experience, a targeted food delivery service has now restarted for those in need of support.
Given direct financial support is available the predicted level of food deliveries is expected to be lower than at the start of the pandemic. As a result, the system has been streamlined, and the Council will be working with EVOC and key hub organisations. Food deliveries will be made for up to 2 weeks, and citizens will be asked to make contact again if further support is required. These are challenging times and there are many changes ahead, including Brexit, and while there is no broader funding for food provision across the city at this time, the funding allocation will be kept under review.
Any individual identified as in need of support due to hardship, should be referred to the Council’s Vulnerable Support Line on 0131 200 2388 or the Scottish Welfare Fund on 0131 529 5299.