Norfolk Emergency Food Delivery

At Imagine Norfolk Together (INT), our worker in Great Yarmouth hosts regular community ministry breakfasts for local project leaders. A few weeks before lockdown, when Covid-19 seemed very distant, one of the people who attends the breakfasts reported that she had had a dream about delivery drivers being sent out with food across the borough. INT set up a meeting to discuss this further, and in faith put into place some basic systems to run a food delivery system. They didn't know it then, but the week they started the new system was the week before lockdown!

The Emergency Delivery service ran throughout April, May and June, delivering food to people who were self-isolating and unable to access food in any other way. The phone lines and deliveries operated 7 days a week for the first couple of weeks. Over this time over 1,000 deliveries of 7-day food parcels were sent out feeding and over 1,000 different individuals were fed. More than 90 volunteers came forward for manning the phone lines, packing food parcels, delivering food.

“In conversations with people, I often hear fear and panic in their voices at the start but by the end they are much calmer and with a sense of hope...It is so satisfying to be able to promise food as it really makes a difference."

The aim of the delivery service was not just to meet people's food needs, but to provide emotional support and connection too. Here are just some of the stories and responses of people they delivered to:

  • One recipient expressed how surprised and grateful he was that our volunteers would deliver to him even on a bank holiday.
  • One lady expressed how the food deliveries had helped not just in terms of food but also her mental health as it took such a huge burden from her.
  • Another person contacted the service to say this: ""I can't tell you how much what you have done means to me, it restores your faith in people. Whoever put this food package together thought about it with real care as I can eat everything in here unbelievably, and thank you all of you and wish you all the very best and please stay safe. I'm so grateful. Thank you again.”
  • One of our delivery drivers contacted to say ""I was asked to do a delivery to an older man, who was struggling with his mental health, and his wife. The man welcomed prayer from me and he was overwhelmed by the amount of food and the cake which was on the top. ""You’ve put a smile on my face,"" he said ""my wife will ask what’s happened to me when I go in"". He was happy for me to put him in touch with one of the chaplains at the hospital as he had had a previous good experience there.
  • A lady phoned back to say a huge thank you – “she’s never had so much food to put in her cupboards all at once! She usually helps others and really appreciated the help given to her today.”
  • A family wrote to say "That was a lovely surprise... a charming man turned up with a car full of goodies...We shall dine like kings today."