I know that many of us are using this enforced period to volunteer to help others in any way we can, whilst abiding by the social distancing advice. One of the things I have been doing is helping to collect the very generous donations for the Fair Frome food bank at some of our local supermarkets. It is heartening to see that even in such troubling times our neighbours are still thinking of others and donating food and toiletries to benefit those less able to weather this crisis.
However, as I visit the supermarkets, I am a little concerned about how some people are not keeping to the 2-metre distancing rule. Queues outside seem to be managed as well as can be expected by store staff who are allowing safe numbers into the stores. Once inside though, it can sometimes feel like a free-for-all and I have been alarmed at how close some shoppers are getting to others. Compared with some other countries we still have quite relaxed restrictions on our shopping, but these could be tightened up if the privilege is abused. Please remember this when you next visit the supermarket.
Talking of the food bank, you will not be surprised to hear that demand is far higher than usual. I am particularly concerned about the provision for schoolchildren who would normally receive free school meals and attend breakfast clubs. This area of need has been recognised and vouchers for supermarkets and local shops are being supplied to parents, via the heads of schools, to cover these gaps. This is an expensive undertaking but one that needs to be done.
Please support your neighbours in any way you can, should you know of anyone who needs assistance with an emergency food parcel or shopping, please do call the Frome Town Council helpline on 01373 465 757 where the team will be able to assist.
Please stay safe.