- even before lock down was enforced on 23rd March we had a food supply problem. There was increasingly little on the shelves quite apart from the toilet roll shortage and going to the shops was discouraged particularly for the over 70's and for anyone with an 'underlying condition'. My husband has Diabetes and that was classified as an underlying condition so how were we going to get any food? Whilst queueing outside the local butcher in Sonning Common I heard that Dudmans, a wholesale fruit and veg merchant at Emmer Green, would deliver. That first week I spent £32.24 on a vegetable and fruit box, some extra milk for a couple in the Hamlet where one of them was recovering from radiotherapy treatment and 3 cabbages for my parents. They are very keen on cabbage ..........
The first box was a joy to receive and the most enormous relief.
The Dudmans delivery driver was harassed - he had tens of deliveries all to residential households and of course they were not set up for retail.
I asked him without thinking of the possible implications - just to ensure a continuing supply line -
'Would it would help if I did some deliveries locally and you could just deliver to here as a hub?'
'You bet!' he said.
So the challenge was on to see if there were other people locally who could be persuaded to take a veg box.
We found 10 people who wanted a veg box and Debbie agreed to help deliver if I organised the supply of veg, fruit, milk and bread. Our first delivery to the local neighbourhood was 2nd April 2020. We have been delivering weekly ever since and now have 31 households on our delivery list and a third volunteer Ollie Corbett who is doing this as part of his Duke Of Edinburgh Gold Award. He also created this website.
This is a local initiative with 3 volunteers. It has been set up by local people for local people and is supporting local businesses. Those of us involved, the customers, the suppliers and the volunteer delivery drivers have found this a positive experience knitting us closer together even whilst we are self isolating and following the social distancing rules.
The best testimonial to this venture comes from Debbie who volunteered to help in the first week of lock down –
I'm really happy to help out. It also gives me something positive to do. I've met so many lovely people doing this. I order eggs for a friend, the dog bones are very good value.
You are doing a great job organising and delivering everyone's orders.
Thank you for taking me up on my offer, it's a good team effort.