Covid-19 Response

What to do if you need food

We are a small group of volunteers and are unfortunately not able to help everyone who contacts us individually. We really want to be able to help those most in need. As such, please consider the following steps before contacting us:

  1. Have you asked friends, neighbours or relatives to buy food for you?
  2. Are you able to afford food but are in isolation and have no one who can bring it over/waiting too long for deliveries?

    There are a number of places delivering food:

  3. Have you explored what support is available in your community? There are many local Mutual aid Facebook groups, city wide , or more locally:

4. Check the Council’s Information NOW site to see which FoodBanks, Food Co-ops and Community Hot-food takeaways are still operating: Food Banks and Cheap Food in Newcastle.

5. Have you registered for the Council’s new service, CityLife Line? CityLife Line Form

6. If you are still unable to access the options above and are in need, please contact us directly via Facebook message or the details at the bottom of this page.

What we are doing during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Thank you for visiting our website and for taking the time to find out about how we are adapting our practice in light of recent developments.

Due to concerns around mass gatherings we are no longer able to operate our cafe as normal. However, we are still diverting edible food from landfill and have been working on measures to keep collecting food and ensure people who need it the most are able to access it. We have introduced several portable hand-washing stations, additional cleaning products and strict safety protocols to ensure any food parcels we distribute are handled and delivered as safely as possible.

Two weeks ago we trialled a home delivery service. Although we successfully distributed around 200 meals, a number of issues were raised. We are a small team and were not able to meet the demand generated from the form only being open for a few hours. Clearly there are a lot of people in need. Although we have been touched by the number of people coming forward to offer to deliver there are safeguarding issues surrounding the handling of vulnerable people’s addresses. As such we have been liaising with other charities and organisations to see how best we can get the most food out to people in need whilst keeping everyone safe. As you know, the situation is ever changing and we are pleased to hear that the council are in the process of setting up a larger operation to meet these needs.

Last week, we distributed 800 bags of food to 8 different charities. This enabled us to reach many more people. We plan to do the same this week (Week commencing 30/3/20), and to review each week.

If your organisation would like to be considered for delivery this week, please email delivery@themagichatcafe.co.uk. 

If you are personally in need, please follow the steps at the top of this page. CityLifeLine, can be accessed here. If you are really struggling please contact us directly using the details at the bottom of this page.

Please contact us if you are still in need after following the steps at the top of the page and we may be able to re-direct you to other charities.

We would like to be clear that due to the nature of collecting surplus food this is not a consistent supply. We don’t know what or how much we will get each week. As such, people must not rely on us solely for their food supply but hopefully we can provide additional support to those most in need.

We will keep this page updated as more developments take place. We are learning as we go and appreciate your patience and understanding at this difficult time! We have been touched by the number of people offering to help us out with this and we hope to utilise some of this energy in the coming weeks. In the future we hope to work with larger established charities to increase the numbers of people we can reach. 

Thank you again for visiting.

How can you access food?

Organisations

If you are part of an organisation which works with vulnerable people or others who you believe may be in need of our services, please get in touch at delivery@themagichatcafe.co.uk so we can discuss working together.

Individuals

We are no longer able to offer individual deliveries , but please see the list at the top of this page as alternatives

How can you help?

Volunteer

We already have a large team of volunteers well known to the cafe who we can call on, but if you’d like to be considered for helping out by volunteering please get in touch at volunteers@themagichatcafe.co.uk and join our mailing list below. We will likely need people to help sort and sanitise donations, collect and deliver.

Donate

We would really appreciate any financial donations to the project which will go towards helping us to continue to provide for the community and our staff. We have taken the decision to keep paying our staff for as long as we can, since all our staff are part-time, self-employed. We also need to pay for fuel for our van and other ongoing costs like insurance and rent for our storage. 

Food Businesses

If you have any surplus edible food that is going to waste please contact us and we will arrange collection and redistribution. We are also in need of packaging for delivering pre-prepared food and separating bulk items into individual portions. Please email us at food@themagichatcafe.co.uk or call us on 07851 307 818 if you think you can help.

We can accept:
– Any un-prepared food (i.e. raw ingredients; meat, fish, veg, cheese, milk, bread, etc) that has been stored correctly following food safety guidelines, whether that be fridge, freezer, or ambient.
– Prepared foods that are chilled, have been prepared and stored correctly and are still suitable for use for at least the next 48 hours.
– Any packaged, tinned or dry-store foods, even if they are past their Best Before date.

We cannot accept:
– Any ingredients or dishes that have been hot held – e.g. curries, meats, rice, etc that has been cooked and held at a hot serving temperature.
– Any products that are past their Use By date.
– Pre-prepared sandwiches (because they tend to need using on that day, and we can’t redistribute them in time).

Please help us by providing allergens where possible and packaging in a distribution friendly way if you can.

Contact

To access or request food:

Email: delivery@themagichatcafe.co.uk

Phone: 0191 666 0163

To donate surplus food:

Email: food@themagichatcafe.co.uk

Phone: 07851 307 818

To volunteer:

Email: volunteers@themagichatcafe.co.uk