Coronavirus and food banks

12th March 2020

There are lots of foodbanks, ourselves included, that are being asked questions about the possible impact of coronavirus on people needing food, and about the type of support food banks will be able to continue to provide.

This is an unprecedented challenge, and we don’t yet know how things will unfold. We’re working with the Trussell Trust network on identifying how best to protect what we do so we can continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food that people need.

Middleton Central Foodbank sometimes runs low on certain items of food, especially post-Christmas. Donations are slow but we are not currently running out of all food donations. We will continue to monitor this. In the meantime, we encourage the public to continue donating whatever they can, and you can ask us at any time what items are most needed.

Here is a recent statement from Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust:

“Time and again over the past decade, food banks across the UK – aided by a generous public who have donated time, food and money – have stepped up to protect people on the lowest incomes in our communities. But with the spread of coronavirus we all now face an unprecedented challenge and uncertain future. It is possible that food banks will face increased demand as people lose income, at the same time as food donations drop or staff and volunteers are unavailable, due to measures rightly put in place to slow the spread of infection. All of this comes when food banks are already dealing with a record level of need for emergency food.

“We’re working with our network on how best to support people as the situation unfolds. Wherever possible, food banks will continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food to people unable to afford the essentials and we encourage the public to continue donating after checking with their local food bank what items are most needed.

“We welcome the Department for Work and Pensions’ measures that will not penalise or sanction people for self-isolating, but we ask our government to go further and consider additional measures they could take to ensure everyone has enough money for essentials at this challenging time. Ending the five week wait for a first Universal Credit payment would be one such measure that could help significantly.”

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