A ward councillor in Essex has hired a local e-cargo bike delivery service to distribute foodbank parcels to vulnerable residents in Colchester. Julie Young said she decided to invest some of her budget from Essex County Council to help those self isolating.
The Clacton Gazette reports that Lee Pugh recently launched the Colchester eCargo Bike Delivery Service to help community groups and also to serve local businesses.
Young said: "I heard about Lee Pugh and his delivery service and thought this would really help people who struggle to carry their foodbank parcel or who are self isolating. I invested some of my locality budget from Essex County Council to fund this.
"Greenstead Foodbank opened in 2019 and is the second most used. Those self-isolating can’t get to the foodbank to collect much needed help.
"Lee started his deliveries this week and he will also be helping by delivering for Tots to Teens, meaning less carbon emissions by delivering by car."
Writing on his crowdfunder, Pugh said: “In addition to the increased demands on our Foodbank, we are seeing more families relying on community support for accessing and acquiring children’s and baby clothing, baby supplies, and essential kitchen and home-wear items.
“Our community support organisations are inundated with requests to deliver these much-needed items. The eCargo Bike Delivery Service project will step in and provide delivery support and will also collect items that people across our area wish to donate to Colchester Food Bank and other community response projects.”
Last month we reported on a similar initiative in Milton Keynes, where e-cargo bikes are being used to redistribute surplus food during lockdown.
Food Connect revolves around the Community Fridge Network operated by London-based charity Hubbub.
Community Fridges are spaces where anyone who lives nearby can exchange surplus food – including businesses. The project is therefore reliant on volunteers to collect the food from retailers, but collection times and the volumes on offer can sometimes present a challenge. Food Connect is being trialled to bridge the ‘final mile’ between food retailers and Community Fridges.