Council commits further half a million pounds to emergency food hub

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AN emergency hub set up to help people during the coronavirus crisis has been given an urgent boost of half a million pounds.

The funding – in support of The Emergency Food Hub – was agreed by Wirral's political leaders; Labour council leader Pat Hackett, Conservative group leader Cllr Ian Lewis, Cllr Phil Gilchrist (Liberal Democrats), Cllr Pat Cleary (Green Party) and Cllr Moira McLaughlin (Independent Group).

Having already spent in the region of £250,000 on a combination of emergency food supplies and supermarket vouchers in the initial few weeks of the lockdown, it is hoped this additional funding will keep this vital service funded for another 12 weeks.

A partnership between Feeding Birkenhead – Supporting Wirral, Wirral Foodbank and other community food providers – the hub has delivered nearly 7,000 food parcels and overseen distribution of more than 3,200 supermarket vouchers to the needy at this time.

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Cllr Pat Hackett said: "This is an absolutely unprecedented situation for all of us going through it. Never have so many people been impacted in so many ways – with us having to adopt behaviours that are completely alien to how we have come to live as a society.

"It is once again heartening that as political leaders in Wirral we able to act decisively and in a non-partisan way and agree these urgent funds for the emergency food operation to continue with the incredible help and support it is providing for those who need it at this time.

"I thank my colleagues in the other four political groups for that and I know they will agree with me when I say that we will continue to work in this collaborative and decisive way for as long as this crisis lasts."

Cllr Phil Gilchrist added: "We have to act in ways we see to be the best for Wirral's people.

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"The way things will shape up is still not clear, we all hope that preparing now will benefit our communities."

Cllr Pat Cleary said: "This funding will help ensure that everyone in Wirral has access to food during this very difficult time and will further bolster the huge community effort that we have seen across Wirral in response to COVID-19."

Cllr Moira McLaughlin said: "I am very pleased as the Leader of the Council`s Independent Group to be working with the other political party leaders and Council officers to make getting essential supplies to those in our communities a priority."