On the 16th of June, and as part of Hubbub’s on-going commitment to support vulnerable households reeling from the impact of COVID-19, the Food Connect service was launched.
Food Connect is a zero-emissions food redistribution service that is being trialed here in Milton Keynes to help three food hubs collect surplus food from businesses, and during the lockdown, redistribute them to vulnerable households. The service is using a fleet of electric bikes and an electric van to redistribute surplus food.
Since the beginning of lockdown, a partnership of organisations in Milton Keynes including Fareshare, NGOs, councils, and a network of community fridges and hubs, have been delivering food packages to those who are struggling to access food due to low incomes, shielding or restrictions on travel. The scheme is co-ordinated from The Old Bath House Community Centre which is home to one of the first community fridges. One of the challenges the groups have faced is how to collect and distribute the food that is available in a way that is safe and reliable.
Hubbub’s recent public polling revealed that nearly 1 in 5 people in the UK are concerned about access to free food during lockdown, resulting in growing demand on services provided by food banks and community fridges. They will be evaluating the impact of Food Connect over the next six months and will openly share results with the ambition of extending the franchise to other locations.
If you would like to learn more or are part of a business or organisation interested in supporting and collaborating in the next phase, please visit www.foodconnect.io