COVID-19 leads to creation of Bristol Food Union

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Bristol Food Union

 

Bristol independents have come together to create Bristol Food Union: a collaborative set up to help feed the frontline and to save our food community.

COVID-19 has hit the city’s food community hard, with farmers, food producers, restaurants, pubs, cafés and more all facing an unprecedented moment of crisis. Many restaurants have closed their doors without knowing whether they will reopen at all, and any small food producer dependent on farmers’ markets or restaurant retail has seen its livelihood disappear practically overnight.

Obviously keeping the public safe is a priority, but it remains to be seen what impact these closures will have on Bristol’s food and farming communities. While the government’s business relief package has offered some support, there’s no denying that it’ll take many of these businesses a long time to fully recover.

In a bid to counter some of the impact of COVID-19, various local indies and individuals have come together to launch Bristol Food Union: a collaboration that brings together restaurants, farmers, producers and community food organisations. Their new website will be listing farmers, retailers and restaurants still open and offering a delivery service, making it easier for us to shop for the things we need AND to support these local businesses.

Over the coming weeks, the Bristol Food Union team will be continuing to update the website, to make sure that it’s an invaluable resource for shopping directly from the businesses that desperately need public support to survive.

Their aims, they say, are to inspire as many people as possible to take the following actions:

  • Do their weekly food shop, delivered safely to their door, using Bristol’s independent food community
  • Donate a meal to feed a frontline worker. So we can cook for them, while they’re busy saving our lives
  • Donate to a Bristol Food Fund to support the industry once this crisis has passed
  • Stay informed through social media and a weekly newsletter to help take action

But it’s not just about shopping online. In addition, Bristol Food Union is providing emergency food for those who need it most. Working with Caring in Bristol, they are feeding 500 homeless citizens who have been moved into sheltered accommodation. In the Chew Valley area, they are also providing meals for the vulnerable. In addition, they’re delivering weekly provisions to 100 vulnerable adults who have recently left the foster care system, and they’re working out plans to deliver a daily hot meal to workers at Southmead Hospital.

Now, more than ever, it’s vital that we support our local food and drink businesses. Head over to the Bristol Food Union website to find out how you can make a difference.

 

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