OVER 6,000 food parcels have been delivered to vulnerable people by Bradford Council since lockdown began.

With the support of partners such as housing provider Incommunities, the authority has delivered thousands of parcels from the Broadway Food Hub in Bradford City Centre.

As of May 8 the hub had delivered a total of 6,014 parcels to the doorsteps of Bradford residents in need of food, with many of those involved in the deliveries having been re-deployed from other Council departments.

The Broadway Food Hub is the district’s short term response to food need for both shielded and vulnerable individuals.

Residents who fall into that category can access support through the council’s contact centre 01274 431000 number.

The Hub has been made possible through the support of Broadway Shopping Centre who have provided warehousing facilities.

The food parcels contain a range of staple food items that have been approved by Public Health England.

Council ‘can’t bear burden of crisis costs’

The team who operate the Food Hub is made up of council staff from children’s services, sport and leisure, passenger transport along with Incommunities managers and logistics staff.

Parcels are delivered to residents across the district seven days a week by Bradford Council’s Passenger Transport Service whose normal role is to transport disabled children and adults. Additional support with free school meals and hub boxes has also been provided by Metro Access Bus.

The Broadway Food Hub is part of the district’s broader food offer which includes the home shopping service, established food banks, neighbourhood food banks and community led projects.

Last month the Council's Executive agreed to fund local food banks with an extra £600,000. The council has also agreed some short term support for neighbourhood and community provision.

In addition to weekly parcels, lunch parcels have also been delivered to schools for 852 children who normally get free school meals while the schools wait for the roll out of the national voucher scheme.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for healthy people and places, said: “There have been many hidden heroes in this crisis.

"I want to thank our Passenger Transport Service drivers, along with all the council staff, community groups and volunteers who have been involved in delivering food to those who are vulnerable in our district. We have seen a fantastic response and a real community effort which shows our district at its best.

“As lockdown changes are announced, we are working with our partners to develop solutions that will make sure that the most vulnerable people in the district continue to receive the help and support that they need.”