Users of the largest emergency food agency in Epping Forest are being asked to continue to do their bit to promote a Covid-safe environment following the lifting of legal restrictions on Monday.

3food4u has discussed the new Covid-19 guidance with volunteers at its hubs in Waltham Abbey, Loughton, Chigwell Row and Ongar and has decided to continue with the safety measures that have been in place since it was launched a year ago.

Founder Pesh Kapasiawala said: "We have agreed it would be sensible to keep our social distancing measures and limit numbers entering our venues, the system works well for everyone.

"We will continue to ask people to sanitise before/after entering. Face masks will not be a legal requirement indoors, but again we have agreed we will continue to promote their use, with volunteers wearing them and we would encourage our service users/public to wear them too.

"In effect we will not change what we have so successfully been doing for over 12 months in terms of Covid-19 safety, with the Delta variant on the increase, the health and wellbeing of our tireless volunteers and service users is paramount.

"We hope you will work with us to promote a safe environment for everyone - volunteers, service users, donors and the wider public. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated."

The charity has formed a partnership with Provide CIC & Essex County Council to offer free NHS health checks.

Two dates have been confirmed with more to follow. The first will be at the Loughton hub from 10am to 2pm on August 10, followed by another on August 12 from noon to 3pm at the Ongar hub.

The checks are open to everyone, service users, volunteers and the wider public, and no appointment is needed.

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3food4u has also been boosted by donations from pupils at West Hatch High School.

It thanked teachers Teresa McGrath for organising the collections after seeing the impact of our service in Waltham Abbey, and Geoff Towsey for his continued support of the charity.

3food4u offers free groceries, clothes and essentials without assessment or referral to anyone that needs it, treating and supporting people humanely with dignity and respect.

The charity’s community surplus hubs are open as follows:

  • Monday: Waltham Abbbey – 13, Sun Street - 11.30am to 1pm
  • Tuesday: Loughton – Loughton Club, 8, Station Road - 11.30am to 1pm
  • Wednesday: Chigwell Row – All Saints Church Hall, Romford Road - 5pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday: Ongar – Zinc Arts Centre, High Street - 1pm to 2.30pm
  • Friday: Waltham Abbey – 13, Sun Street - 11.30am to 1pm

The Rotary Club of Loughton, Buckhurst Hill and Chigwell is continuing to meet on Zoom on Thursdays at 7pm.

If you would like to attend, contact Pesh on 020 8500 2527 / 07973 166940 or email