Catalyst grant helps Welwyn foodbank with emergency deliveries

Catalyst has awarded Welwyn Hatfield Foodbank at the New Zion Christian Fellowship a £400 grant to help deliver emergency food parcels. 

In response to the impact of Covid-19, Catalyst set up a ‘Coronavirus Voluntary Sector Support Fund’ to help small charities and voluntary sector organisations continue to support their communities. 

New Zion Christian Fellowship is an independent church located in the heart of Welwyn Garden City. On Wednesday mornings, a small group of church volunteers run a foodbank where local people who’ve been issued with a voucher can collect food and essentials. Typically, the foodbank sees around 30-35 people each week.

Before lockdown, people would pop into the church to collect what they needed from the foodbank shop, and often stay for a chat, cuppa and prayers. When social distancing was introduced, however, volunteers had to quickly adapt the service to continue to make sure the most vulnerable could still access the foodbank. 

Volunteers at the foodbank have used the additional funds from the grant entirely to buy food for those who are in need in the community. 

Catalyst’s Director of Community Investment, Sahil Khan, said: ‘We’re delighted that our grant is helping the foodbank provided by the New Zion Christian Fellowship to continue to reach those who need it the most and, as importantly, to keep in contact with those they help.

‘We set up the ‘Coronavirus Voluntary Sector Support Fund’ to help charities and community organisations to continue to deliver their vital services during this unprecedented time, and to support people who are most at risk during prolonged periods of isolation. 

‘The fund, which is now closed, has been open to organisations working in our neighbourhoods that are supporting those with low and insecure incomes, young people, older people, vulnerable adults and those experiencing mental ill-health. This grant is one of 30 we’ve awarded since we launched the scheme in March to help cover costs such as staffing and volunteers’ expenses, equipment and general running costs.’

Ian Matthews, who runs the Foodbank, told us: ‘We are very grateful for the gift of £400 towards the work of the Foodbank at New Zion. We serve about 50 families each week. Most come to pick up items from us but, particularly at this time, we deliver to some customers. We have a small team of amazing volunteers who sort donations, store products, make up food parcels, serve customers on arrival, and make deliveries. Every penny of the gift goes towards buying food for those in need. Bless you for your generous gift.’

Read our Welwyn foodbank press release – PDF 386KB for more information.