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Coronavirus: Yorkshire business adapting to help vulnerable

Coronavirus: Yorkshire business adapting to help vulnerable

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 6:45am 31st March 2020.

A Yorkshire business which normally supplies milk and fresh produce in Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale - has set up an online booking service to help during the virus.

  • Wakefield-based Fresh Pastures is launching an online booking service for people struggling to get to the shops.
  • They normally deliver milk and fresh produce to schools and have now switched to supplying packed lunches. 
  • They normally make more than 3,000 deliveries per day. 

Wakefield-based Fresh Pastures is launching an online booking service for people struggling to get to the shops.

They normally make more than 3,000 deliveries per day to local authorities, schools and businesses - but their business has dried up.  

They are also delivering packed lunches to schools instead.  

Dawn Carney, Managing Director at Fresh Pastures, said: 

"We all need to adapt quickly and use whatever resources we have to support each other, whether that's in providing valuable help and support or thinking innovatively to keep our businesses functioning. 

"As schools have closed temporarily, so has 97% of our business. But we still have a robust distribution infrastructure and recognise that we have an opportunity to redistribute our services to offer a vital resource for our communities. In the last 48 hours, we have completely changed our entire operation.

"Firstly, we are working with many local authorities to feed the vulnerable. Whilst schools are closing, many children still need to receive food from local authorities and other services. The children of key workers and those with special needs staying in school will need lunches. We are now offering a packed lunch service to support those children.    

"Equally important are children on free school meals. Whilst the government's announcement that these children will be receiving vouchers is welcome, there are concerns about how we ensure those vouchers are used for nutritious food. We are in discussions with service providers to demonstrate how we can provide healthy packed lunches to these youngsters. 

"Another critical group is the elderly. We can deliver fresh produce such as milk, eggs, bread, butter, yoghurt and cheese to those people. We are also well placed to supply care homes and meals on wheels services, some of which may be struggling to source what they need due to panic buying and the restriction that our network of supermarkets are having to put in place. 

"We set up an e-commerce site enabling people at home to order food directly from us to be delivered to their door. We are confident we can provide an essential service to those social distancing.

"Finally, we are aware of the challenges our foodbanks are facing. Any produce we have that is moving towards the end of its shelf life will be donated to charities and food banks to support those struggling the most.

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