Covid-19 help from South Somerset

SOUTH Somerset District Council is doing its best to ensure that communities receive all the help they need during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes offering extra support to vulnerable residents.

A major part of this support is the new SSDC Wellbeing Hub which has been set up to supply food parcels and other supplies to residents in most urgent need in the district, who are shielding or who fit the criteria where they are recognised as vulnerable.

SSDC staff were redeployed to work around the clock to get the Wellbeing Hub in place. Members of the commercial services team worked with strategic planning specialists, and partners including Yeovil Town Council, supermarkets (including Tesco and Co-op) and other suppliers who have offered help and donations.  Staff from the council’s closed venues at Westlands and Ninesprings Café have used the catering kitchens to split catering packs of pasta and rice to make manageable packets to go in the food boxes.

Many members of staff have moved from their usual roles to help the Connect team handle the extra calls that will be coming in to request food parcels, and the entertainment box office team will be processing the orders which will be delivered by environment service staff.

Here are some questions and answers from the council on this new service:

How do I get a food parcel?
Residents who are shielding, who have NOT received a food parcel from the government, and residents who are assessed as vulnerable can call 0300 790 6275 to find out if they are eligible.

How much do they cost?
Shielded people (as identified by the NHS) will get their first food parcel free. Vulnerable people will pay a set fee depending on the size of parcel required – £26 for a single person, £30 for couples and £52 for families of 4-5 people. The service is non-profit and delivery is free.

What is in the food parcel?
All goods are non-perishable and should give a broad choice of food needed to prepare balanced meals. The parcels also include toilet rolls, cleaning and hygiene products.

How long does it take to get a food parcel?
Most food parcels will be delivered the next day between 10am and 4pm.

If this self-isolating goes on for some time, what happens if I need a repeat order?
You can email or phone an order through to the team. Your details will have been saved making ordering and paying quicker.

How often can I order?
Box contents are built around a weeks’ worth of food, re-ordering shouldn’t be required under this time period.

Can I book a time slot?
No, deliveries will usually be next day and between 10am and 4pm.

What if I have not received a shielding letter?
Shielding letters come from the NHS. Your GP or hospital will have provided names of patients that they consider vulnerable and require shielding. If you have not received a letter and feel you should have one, then you should contact them.

For more information on the range of help available from SSDC during the crisis, visit www.southsomerset.gov.uk/coronavirus