Here at the Healthy Living Platform we have been working with Liza Ctori, LEAP’s Community and Environmental Health Officer, to provide a hot meals delivery service to families with a new baby during the pandemic.
Not long after the pandemic started we started delivering hot meals to families. As the weeks went by we realised that one group that were feeling particularly isolated were new mums.
As Liza explains: “COVID-19 has made life more challenging for everyone, particularly mothers with new babies. Social restrictions can mean less support from families and friends. The virus has limited key services, such as midwifery and health visits, to virtual/remote check-ups. And hospitals are discharging mothers quicker than before.
All these factors can add up to families feeling more isolated and less able to support themselves. HLP found that getting meals to these families was a great way to provide other essentials to them – keeping them connected to more key services.
For example, other agencies have been adding items to the meal delivery. They’ve donated essentials like nappies, wipes and baby clothes. A local charity called Play and Learn café has donated play sets, including sensory toys.”
So far we have delivered over 750 meals to new parents – and 35 families are receiving a meal every week. The meals are vegetarian and are delivered hot on the same day that they’re cooked. We have a team of amazing delivery volunteers who take the food on foot, by bicycle or by car directly to the families front doors.
Helen Wiggins, Programme Coordinator at the Healthy Living Platform, said:
“I’m so thrilled and impressed with the work that Liza has been doing on the new baby project. She’s put her heart and soul into it and has really brought the project off the ground. She puts 110% into everything that she does and really makes a difference to our families. She goes out of her way to go the extra mile often helping supporting families to sign up to our healthy start vouchers or accompanying parents on distanced visits to children centres to enable them to sign up to children’s centres and always follows up on all of her work very comprehensively. We have so enjoyed working with Liza on this project and hope to continue throughout the lockdown to support families across the community and reaching some of those who are most in need.”
Health professionals, such as midwives and health visitors, as well as LEAP breastfeeding support colleagues, signpost new mums to the service.
It’s easy to sign up – anyone who wishes to do so can do so here.
The feedback from the service has been very positive. Here are some quotes from recipients.
“Thank you for this. It is just me and my baby and this is a big help as I am sometimes too tired to cook something good.”
“I am very grateful for your service, thank you for your food, the texts and your support. The baby clothes are lovely.”
“My mum can’t come and help me so your delivery was great thanks and would love to be signed up for next week, with more nappies please.”
“Thank you for the lovely meal, we both really enjoyed it and we will cook with more vegetables from now on. it is such an amazing scheme.”
Our new baby meals service is funded by A Better Start, a ten-year project set up by The National Lottery Community Fund.