A COMMUNITY group in Wem has shared the work undertaken to support people through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wem Store Cupboard is a small group comprised of representatives from various groups in the town, including Wem Town Council, Wem Eating Well Project, Incredible Edibles, Wem Youth Club and Whitchurch Foodbank.

The group has been meeting regularly during the lockdown and co-ordinating a localised food support service.

Since the start of lockdown the group, through the town clerk Penny O'Hagan, has worked closely with housing officers, mental health support workers, social workers, Thomas Adams and St Peters staff to identify residents in need of food support and provide the appropriate support for their needs.

This has varied from a one off food parcel to the provision of regular hot meals and the group has also been able to support residents from outside of the town including Whixall and Wem Rural.

To date the work of the group has been funded by private donations and small grants/reimbursements including grants from Tesco, Wem Rotary, Wem Co-op and Connexus.

More than £1,000 has been spent on food support locally since the start of lockdown, not including direct donations given for the provision of the delivered hot meals.

In a report sent to Wem Town council, Ms O'Hagan identified the future short and long term goals objectives of the group.

In the report, she said: "The crisis has shown the need to ensure that the most vulnerable in the community receive information on the many services being offered to those in need, as not everyone in the town uses or has access to the internet.

"With the closure of the libraries many residents have had no access to the internet at all.

"The anticipated economic recession will mean there will be a continuing need to provide information on support available."

Ms O'Hagan says the crisis has identified a demand and need for the delivery of subsidised hot meals similar to 'meals on wheels'.

"The hot meal delivery service offered during lockdown by various businesses in and around the town provided an enormous benefit," Ms O'Hagan added. "Not only the recipients but also the relatives of some of the town's most vulnerable residents who were reassured that their relatives were being catered for.

"There is scope to develop a community meals delivery project that could not only support residents but could also provide a regular income to local cafes who could be given the opportunity to provide the meals on a weekly or monthly rota twice a week.

"There is already a model in the county of a community meals project run by a local council and this could be adapted to run just as easily in the town."

At the town's full council meeting, Held virtually on Thursday, June 25, the council discussed further support of the Wem Store Cupboard, which was agreed by councillors.