Volunteer food service helps provide free meals for needy

July 30 2020

National Food Service Bristol (NFS Bristol) is a new organisation working to support the city through the coronavirus crisis by providing food free of charge to those in need.
Since Covid-19 kicked off in the UK, there has been an increased number of people without access to the simple necessity of food. NFS Bristol is helping to combat this by creating wholesome cooked meals and delivering these directly to people’s doors across Bristol.
The driving force behind NFS Bristol is Louise Delmege, who was born in Bristol and grew up in Henleaze. Louise explains: “I’ve been working in community food provision for about five years, mainly at the Foodhall Project in Sheffield, which is where the National Food Service Network began. Food is me. Providing food for people is my thing.”
Since moving back to Bristol last summer, Louise launched NFS in the city. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the need for its service has become all the more apparent, with increasing numbers of people slipping through the net, not being able to access enough food.
NFS Bristol also work with other local groups, including The Plough in Easton providing fresh fruit and vegetable boxes and community organisation Acorn, matching volunteers to those in need of someone to help them to do their shopping.
  So that the service can be there for everyone who needs it, NFS Bristol is always looking for donations and volunteers, including drivers and phone line operators.
Being a volunteer driver involves picking up food orders from an NFS kitchen and delivering it (in your own car) to people across Bristol, although drivers are always given routes as close to their homes as possible. You may be interacting with our beneficiaries (at a two metre distance) when dropping off the food orders so it’s important that these volunteers are also comfortable chatting to people.  
Phone line volunteers answer phone calls from members of the public in need of food, putting through food orders online or signposting to other services and offering a listening ear. Volunteering on the phone line can be done from your own home using your own phone and computer. It’s perfect for anyone who’s still isolating or is worried about going out.
NFS are also looking for donations. If you are able to donate then both one off and monthly donations are accepted through their website at nationalfoodservicebristol.uk. As NFS Bristol only has a small staff team supporting hundreds of volunteers, all of the money donated goes straight to feeding the city.
To find out more, view their website or email bristol@nationalfoodservice.uk.
If you or someone you know is in need of food you can call NFS on 0117 325 0450.