Islington’s People’s Army supplies 10,000 meals to vulnerable people amid pandemic
PUBLISHED: 10:52 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:52 13 October 2020
An Islington volunteer scheme has supplied more than 10,000 meals to the local community over the coronavirus lockdown, providing around 1,000 meals a week in its peak.
The People’s Army was created in early March to help residents who are self-isolating by delivering hot meals and organising essential shopping trips.
Its main priority is to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, such as homeless people.
READ MORE: Islington People’s Army hope to continue volunteering post-Covid-19
With the figures now slowing down, the initiative is urging volunteers to continuing donating their time and supplies.
Hazel Jhugroo, 29, started the People’s Army from her bedroom during lockdown, first through nextdoor.co.uk.
There is now a Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook group - the latter of which has more than 700 members.
Hazel told the Gazette: “I was surprised how quickly it grew from something so small. I was happy that I could help in times of need and it was great to see the community pulling together.”
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Contacted by Regan King, the pastor at The Angel Church in Chadwell Street, the People’s Army area able to use the church’s kitchen and had over 200 volunteers from all over Islington.
It currently has five to six people working in the kitchen three times a week and has been delivering food to supported housing, care homes and people with mental health and mobility problems.
The People’s Army also offer collection between 3pm to 5pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Making all the food from scratch onsite, it also receives donations from Pret a Manger and Gail’s Bakery and provides toiletries bags.
Hazel said: “Some places just give you a meal and off you go. We have chats and conversations, if they need help with anything we try to offer advice and point them in directions of other organisations that can help as we don’t have enough resources to help ourselves.”
The People’s Army also do open days at the church for people to pop in for a haircut.
“Most people who collect come, but anyone is welcome for haircuts. Having a fresh haircut can make you so different and fresh, like a new person,” said Hazel.
Anyone interested in volunteering should email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 07309071759.
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