Here’s Ursula’s story of how she helped those in her community by setting up the Adira Food Pharmacy as she saw the effect of coronavirus and lockdown on her community.
For Ursula in Sheffield, lockdown meant that she was forced to postpone the annual conference of her organisation Adira, which works to support the mental health of black people in the community and often holds events such as this one.
She had secured funding through Yorkshire Housing to support the conference and put a request in for it to be used to help the community around her as she noticed how it had been disproportionately affected because of the lockdown and people being unable to work. Once this was approved she set to work setting up the Adira Food Pharmacy, a food provisions service that created and distributed food parcels on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Not only did the food parcels give obvious respite to those who needed them but the set up itself provided community members with some much needed socialising and purpose. Ursula said: “We found ourselves putting on a bit of music and dancing away while packing up the parcels, it gave us all a bit of a break from the doom and gloom of the pandemic and made us all feel more connected to each other and our wider community.
“We were able to fill the parcels with food that our community enjoyed and that was culturally appropriate, food banks do a great job but if you’re in need then having foods that you love and that are important to your culture can’t be replaced. To date we have fed 1,726 individuals through the Adira Food Pharmacy.
“We were also a feeder organisation for two refuges and one halfway house in the area. I was actually a resident in one of the refuges sixteen years ago and it was almost like a reunion as some of the staff were still there, I can’t imagine where I’d be without them and the services the refuge offers so it felt good to be able to give something back.”