The Food Solutions Warehouse was established in November 2020 and acts as a distribution hub to support a network of over 30 organisations across the borough that provide food, essential household items and sanitary materials to households in greatest need.
The warehouse is operated by Action Together on behalf of Rochdale Borough Council to provide sustainable food support to people across the borough. In a further boost, funding and use of the building has now been extended till March 2022.
This has been an essential part of the council's community response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The council has used its own funds, as well as government grants, to invest into the warehouse in terms of set up and supplies.
'The network has been seen as an excellent model of co-operative working and an example of best practice for Greater Manchester'
Councillor Allen Brett, leader of the council, said: "The network has been seen as an excellent model of co-operative working and an example of best practice for Greater Manchester. We're proud of the work taking place and the joint working with so many organisations, all working to the same goal. Demand for food support has increased, and continues to do so, which is why I'm delighted to extend our support to this vital work."
The warehouse has also played a key role in the council's support to over 8,300 people in the borough who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have been shielding during the pandemic.
'The pandemic has created more financial difficulties for more people and we want them to know that the council, and many organisations across the borough, are there for them with support'
Councillor Kieran Heakin, cabinet member for getting a good start, said: "Ensuring that we're addressing food poverty remains a key priority for us and it's going to sadly remain a key issue as we recover from Covid-19. The pandemic has created more financial difficulties for more people and we want them to know that the council, and many organisations across the borough, are there for them with support."
Local businesses have kindly supported the warehouse with vital donations. Examples include Mecca Bingo, who donated food stock and a staff team to make up 150 'Winter Warmer' parcels which were donated via food providers over the winter period. BES Ltd, engineering company based at Sandbrook Retail Park, donated £5,000. This bought warehouse shelving and equipment and a stock of hats, scarves and hot chocolate which, with their staff team, made 250 Winter Warmer packs and provide stock to support some of the homeless charities in the borough.
Kerry Bertram, strategic local lead for Action Together in Rochdale said: "This network has been a great example of how people have come together to support a specific crisis in these difficult times. The causes of food poverty are complex and multiple, involving financial and personal circumstances and the way the network has come together to support families and individuals in this difficult time is commendable."
- Families who are in need of support should contact
- You can also call the early help team on 0300 303 8801
- If you're struggling with food poverty and would like further support, please call 01706 923685