FoodCycle, the charity that fights food poverty and loneliness is in urgent need of volunteers in Birmingham. As an essential service, Foodcycle continues to be a lifeline to the Birmingham community during the current UK lockdown.

Due to isolating or shielding from the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteer numbers in Birmingham have dropped significantly. Without volunteers, Foodcycle cannot provide a vital service to the community who have come to rely on their weekly meals and food provision.

Who can volunteer?
Foodcycle volunteer roles in Birmingham are open to anyone who has some time to spare. Current roles include food collection, food delivery as part of Foodcycle’s current service bringing food parcels to homes in need; plus cooking or hosting at ‘Cook and Collect’ projects – a food takeaway service for members of the community across Birmingham.

Unable to bring people together through community meals for much of 2020 due to Government restrictions, Foodcycle also launched Check-in and Chat this year. This service, where volunteers call guests for a weekly natter to help combat social isolation, is also looking for new recruits.

Who can’t volunteer?
Those who are shielding, have been told to isolate or classed as clinically vulnerable should not volunteer.  Those showing any symptoms, have tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, should not volunteer at this time.

To help stop the spread and to keep Foodcycle guests and volunteers safe, FoodCycle has introduced a number of new policies and procedures such as compulsory wearing of face coverings, hand sanitising stations, socially distanced queues and collecting data in line with track and trace.

Pamela Walker, West Midlands Regional Manager at FoodCycle says: “Being a part of FoodCycle gives our volunteers a real sense of purpose in these unusual times. People often sign up to give something back but end up staying because of how much they gain from it. Not only does it make such a huge difference to the people that receive the food but leads to our volunteers making friends and feeling part of the community. We really do need more volunteers to ensure that we can keep this vital service running.”

A FoodCycle Guest says: “It makes me very happy that Foodcycle are still looking out for people and caring for the community during this time. Every week is like Christmas as I never know what new ingredient or new food I’ll get to try and I also feel its been prepared and made with love.”

Foodcycle is currently operating at Birmingham Falcon Lodge Community Centre for Cook and Collect every Monday from 3–4pm as well as weekly deliveries.

For more information on Foodcycle Birmingham projects and to sign up to volunteer please visit http://www.foodcycle.org.uk/