WELLfed Covid Delta Response 2021
Tuesday 17th August 2021 had been a mostly ordinary Tuesday at WELLfed. Learners had made Potato Gratin and Homestyle Baked Beans in class and then took part in a Container Gardening session with Jess from Edible Earth between rain showers outside! We were also preparing to host a party celebrating Five Years of WELLfed on the Thursday evening, but later that Tuesday afternoon COVID once again began making lockdown type noises and we all prepared for an announcement...
Becs and Kim were at a hui at MP Barbara Edmonds' electorate office with the Mayor of Porirua and other community development organisations when the news hit that we were headed into an immediate level 4 lockdown. Action stations! After sorting our own families needs, some of Team WELLfed regrouped at our HQ in Hampshire Street later that evening. We sorted and distributed all the fresh produce and supplies we had ready expecting to be in classes for the week. As is always the case at WELLfed, nothing went to waste!
While staying home, we helped Learners with connections for wider support if they needed it. The video covering the recipes for the week had already been uploaded to our online library so a switch to online classes was immediately available and our network of Learner Facebook groups came to the fore with lots of our team were sharing posts of their own baking and meal ideas to inspire each other, including the WELLfed focaccia recipe, which was a massive hit on our public Facebook page!
One WELLfed Learner said: “If it wasn't for WELLfed I would have been struggling in this lockdown and would have needed food parcels or food grants. Instead I was able to cook in bulk throughout lockdown for my bubble and didn't need any assistance. You taught me well - WELLfed. It helped me heaps as the kids never stopped eating.”
During Level 4 & 3 of August/Sept 2021 WELLfed provided the following resources to our Learner community, by personal contactless drop offs:
over 300 reusable face masks, over 200 paper masks & over 50 sanitary packs to families in the community (in some cases this included Nappies, wipes, pads, toothpaste etc)
3,500 serves of fruit and veggies were contactless-dropped to 80+ houses
60+ meal packs were delivered to homes, which included recipes and extra ingredients
60+ cooking equipment items
90+ pantry items
12 food parcels were organised and delivered by WELLfed at level 4 and additional community referrals were made (including for former Learners)
Regular pastoral care contact was made with Learners
Learners were able to return to class on Monday 13th September. Delta has meant some refinements of our plan for running classes at level 2 to ensure our Learners can be safely socially connected as well as nourished with food. Classes are now running with limited numbers, two separate sessions per day, personal workstations, spaced out and with ventilation changes. Everyone is also wearing masks and video/ingredient packs are available for anyone who is unwell or who would prefer to learn at home.
Our team have commented that this lockdown had a different feel to it than the initial flurry of the first lockdown in 2020, when it was all new learnings and everyone in rapid response mode.
This time around we knew what needed to be done and swung into action to get it done efficiently and safely. As much as we all hope that COVID would just go away, we suspect that the pandemic response section of our Business Continuity Plan will need to be referred to in the future. That it went “to plan” this time around gives us great hope that the impact of future alert level changes for WELLfed can be minimised.