Officers at Main Street police station have thanked a local food bank for continuing to help the most vulnerable people of Rotherham throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Liberty Church provides food parcels for all vulnerable or needy people in the community. The project relies on donations of food from local organisations and supermarkets, along with the help of volunteers to go out and make deliveries. Demand for parcels has surged since the beginning of lockdown in March.
PS Clare Learad and PC Steve Kitchen, of Rotherham’s Integrated Offender Management (IOM) team have both thanked Liberty for their continued efforts.
PS Learad said: “I really cannot thank Liberty enough for the amount of help they have given over the last few months, providing food parcels to those who are most in need. “The prolonged period of isolation brought on by Covid-19 has been difficult for everyone. For the ex-offenders we work with, lack of routine and structure can lead them to become increasingly vulnerable and more likely to return to a life of crime. So many people haven’t had sufficient funds to actually buy food or essential items and Liberty has been nothing short of a lifeline to them.”
Talking about the increased demand, Rose, who runs the project said: “We used to deliver 12 – 15 parcels per day pre-lockdown, and this had increased to 95 parcels per week by the middle of May. This is almost 100 households relying on us in order to feed themselves and their family. To meet this, we have opened a new location in Thurcroft, however this also means we need to rely more on donations and the help and work of volunteers. I’d like to say a big thank you to the community for their help and support so far – it’s been incredible.”
PC Kitchen added: “Liberty’s work is definitely helping us prevent crime here in Rotherham. Covid-19 has seen many people isolated from their support network, and for those with a chaotic lifestyle, this comes with increased risk. Many of the offenders we work with are in a much better place due to not having to worry about having to buy food and other essential items.”
Liberty Church receives referrals from housing associations, job centres, citizen’s advice and the probation service.
Images: SY Police