Community Larder scheme delivers thousands of food boxes to people in need

Grand Union has played its part in getting around 4,500 food boxes to people in need in South Northamptonshire since the start of April.

Working alongside multiple partners and volunteers, colleagues from Grand Union have helped the Northamptonshire Community Larder scheme deliver food to people across South Northamptonshire who cannot leave their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme, which was founded by Miranda Wixon as part her work with SOFEA – a charity distributing food waste from supermarkets – was due to go live in June, but plans were rapidly brought forward following lockdown. That’s when Grand Union, Parish Councils and other voluntary sector organisations stepped in to offer support.

Grand Union offered the use of Cripps House, a scheme in the village of Roade for over 55s, as a food larder, allowing the free food parcels to be distributed across the region to anyone currently struggling.

Miranda Wixon said: “Huge thanks to Grand Union Housing Group, staff and residents, particularly Kelly Ednie and Emma Dagless, who supported the Community Larder becoming a reality in Northamptonshire.

“It’s a pleasure to work with such a positive organization, so focussed on helping people keep well in their own homes.”

Around 3,500 boxes were delivered in April, while Miranda expects to hand out around 1,000 this week alone.

As part of the scheme, Grand Union also offered online training for anyone who needed it.

Kelly Ednie, Grand Union’s Community Projects Officer, ran the training, and said: “We saw the need and the potential for this project, especially in light of the crisis and wanted to support it as much as we could.

“Now is a time for us to all pull together and the partnership work on this scheme has been fantastic. It’s really benefitted everyone – from individuals and families right through to entire communities.”

Some of the other partners involved in the scheme include Brackley Town Council, who offered the use of their town hall, and SNVB who have used their DBS-trained drivers.

The scheme has also benefitted from around 500 volunteers giving their time to ensure every village is covered, including South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom, who helped make deliveries, and Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris who has also offered his support.

There are now further plans to expand the scheme to Northampton and Daventry district.