An inspirational project has helped feed 1,100 Harlow families since lockdown began in March.

The project, Community Embrace, has delivered more than 3,000 food parcels and snack lunch packs to families across the town during the coronavirus pandemic.

Founder Herty Ama Twumwaa says the project aims to promote diversity and connect communities by tackling issues such as food poverty, loneliness, isolation and mental health.

The organisation adapted its services in March, to meet the demands of lockdown, with the creation of a door-to-door food parcel delivery service, distributing surplus food and other emergency care packages free of charge.

Over the last few months, Herty and her team of volunteers have been working to identify families and individuals in need and organise doorstep deliveries of emergency food parcels.

In addition, through the organisation’s random act of kindness project called Kati’s Gift, members of the community have the opportunity to nominate other residents to receive a surprise gift, such as colouring books, toiletries, chocolates, flowers and cakes as part of this initiative to bring moments of cheer and hope during the crisis.

Herty Ama Twumwaa, founder of Community Embrace UK, said: “With the significant impact of the current crisis, we knew that something had to be done quickly so made adjustments to prioritise introducing an emergency food parcel service to deliver to those in need. This was initially supposed to run for a month in March, but with the support of Clarion Futures through their Emergency Support Fund, we have managed to carry on supporting the community for a further five months. Together with an incredible team of ambassadors, ongoing support from our store donors and other local agencies, I am planning to continue delivering food to those who need it.’’

Cllr John Strachan added: “I have seen first-hand the good work Community Embrace UK has done in Harlow and it’s great that there are organisations like Clarion Futures who will support projects like this. Herty is an example of true community spirit.”

The project has been supported by a grant from the Emergency Support Fund set up by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group.

Matt Parsonage, head of communities at Clarion Futures, said: “Times are tough at the moment but communities are really coming together, with organisations like Community Embrace UK stepping up and providing support for local people. We created our Emergency Support Fund to support projects just like this and are proud of what our partners have achieved.”

Epping Forest Guardian:

For more breaking news, local headlines and features, ‘like’ our Facebook page.

We also have a Twitter account: @EppingFGuardian

Follow us to keep up-to-date with news in Epping Forest.