Food banks struggle during Coronavirus pandemic
Food banks in the UK are being hit hard by the Coronavirus. Here at Nottingham On Call we have looked in to exactly what is going on.
Food banks are struggling to meet demand as many of their volunteers self isolate. The demand on food banks from those in need has never been so high, but the vital items aren’t available. To add to that, the volunteers who normally give up their time to hand out the supplies are having to self isolate.
At a time when the need for this service is more important than ever, local food banks are feeling the strain.
Between April 2018 and March 2019 the most common reason for visiting a food bank was insufficient income or benefits. However, since this pandemic began, there has been a huge increase in visitors to the banks. Many of these new visitors have never had to use a food bank before. But now they are finding themselves jobless or at risk of losing their business or livelihood. School closures adds extra pressure to families who are now having to provide more meals each day for their children.
It is a heartbreaking thought that families and individuals can’t access basic food at this time. People are turning up to food banks and are leaving empty handed because there is no food to give.
As if the lack of food and supplies isn’t enough, with the self isolation rules in place, the food banks are losing vital volunteers.
How can we help?
At the moment we are still able to visit supermarkets to access food. Most of the major supermarkets have donation points. It is normally a trolley or basket near the exit. If you are in a supermarket and are able to donate anything at all from your shop then please do. Even just one tin of beans or a packet of toilet roll would be a lifeline for some at this time.
You can get in touch with your local food bank to see if there are any deliveries that need doing. It may be that they have the food parcels but have no-one to deliver. As long as you are sticking to the guidelines on social distancing, then you will be ok. If you are not in the vulnerable category then you could volunteer to deliver. Going out to do this will be classed as an essential trip, so please don’t worry. You may just be saving someone’s life by doing this.
If you are in a position to help then please contact your local food bank. Or contact The Trussell Trust. They are the nations’s largest food bank charity. They are the central hub and would be able to put you in touch with your local food bank.
Let’s all help each other out during these unprecedented times and ensure everyone has enough to eat.