Sufra NW London, Covid-19 Update – 20 April 2020
Over the past four weeks, we have transformed every aspect of how we work in order to meet increased demand during the pandemic, whilst ensuring that our staff, volunteers and guests are protected.
The new model focuses on delivering both emergency food parcels and freshly cooked food to those in urgent need across Brent. Our services continue to rely on the goodwill of our amazing volunteers as well as local mutual aid groups, businesses, faith organisations and others – it’s truly a community effort.
We have also been working closely with Brent Council, voluntary sector organisations and the Brent Food Aid Network to establish a borough-wide food aid response accessible to anyone in need.
With Sufra’s support, a temporary new food hub has been established by Brent Council to reach those who are not in touch with existing food aid providers. The Council’s food aid service can be accessed by calling 020 8937 1234.
Demand for food parcels from Sufra increased by more than 250% in March alone (compared to march 2019). In addition, we are now delivering over 200 freshly cooked meals a day (5 days a week), mostly to homeless people in temporary accommodation.
Whist Sufra is closed to the public for the duration of the pandemic, our emergency food aid services are fully operational and are being scaled up to meet growing demand.
Due to distancing measures, we only have a small team of staff and volunteers on the ground, with other staff and volunteers working remotely.
Food Bank: This is now a delivery only service, with referrals for food aid received electronically from our network of voluntary sector organisations. Sufra mainly delivers food parcels to refugees, asylum seekers and homeless families without cooking facilities and the new Council food hub delivers many of our other requests.
Community Kitchen: We are working with local businesses and charities to scale up the delivery of freshly cooked hot food delivery across Brent to those who don’t have cooking facilities or who are elderly and isolated. We are already working closely with the homelessness sector but will soon be able to deliver cooked food to many others in need.
Community Garden: Therapeutic and educational activities have had to close, but we are scaling up food production to supplement our supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables for those most in need.
Advice Services and Refugee Support: Both of these services are fully functional but operating remotely, with the support of our Advice Volunteers.
NHS Emergency Food Aid Service: Operating as normal – please contact Nirmean@sufra-nwlondon.org.uk if you are registered for the service and require Food Packs for patients.
If you would like to be part of our pool of volunteer drivers, please complete this form.
If you are an experienced grower and would like to volunteer regularly, please complete this form.