The Lunch Club on Wheels project was created last year in response to the coronavirus pandemic and was delivered by Eastleigh Youth & Community Trust through Pavilion on the Park and the Blackbird Cafe. Since the start of the first lockdown in March it provided more than 2000 hot meals to vulnerable people in the community. On Christmas Day last year volunteers delivered 46 meals to those most in need in the local community, each recipient of the meal also received a box of food for Boxing Day and a small gift.
The Council were able to support the service by distributing a grant of £950 from DEFRA to help towards the Christmas meals, with funding from the project also coming from Charities Aid Foundation with food donated by FareShare, Asda and the Co-op.
Unfortunately, due to the latest lockdown restrictions, the organisers of the project have had to make the difficult decision to stop all cafe activities including the Lunch Club on Wheels service. The new lockdown has impacted many businesses including this facility and has affected the services it provides to people in the Borough suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
Last year, the project was a lifeline to many individuals across the Borough experiencing loneliness, isolation and financial hardship. The friendly drivers were happy to chat to people on their doorsteps as they dropped off the food which helped those feeling even more isolated and alone. The service provided a hot, healthy and home cooked meal to those in need.
Volunteers were happy to help out delivering goods to people during the festive break one volunteer said: "We enjoyed doing something to help people less fortunate than us. It did not take us long and we knew that the people we delivered to had food for at least two days."
The people who received the meals and gifts were so grateful of the home cooked food and for some of them it was the only face-to-face interaction they would have, one happy recipient said: "The Christmas meal and food for Boxing Day was fantastic. The food for Boxing Day had such a great assortment and there was a plentiful amount. The Christmas Lunch covered two days and I was over the moon with the present of a bottle of perfume and a coolbag."
You can make a donation to help get the Lunch Club on Wheels service back up and running and serving the community here.