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Redbridge Foodbank sees demand skyrocket during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 17:59 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:59 18 June 2020

Redbridge Foodbank has seen demand skyrocket during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: James Nunn

Redbridge Foodbank has seen demand skyrocket during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: James Nunn

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Redbridge Foodbank has seen demand for its services skyrocket since the start of the pandemic and will stay high as more people are hit financially.

The foodbank has had to completely change their services during the pandemic. Picture: James NunnThe foodbank has had to completely change their services during the pandemic. Picture: James Nunn

The charity, which is run in partnership with area churches and supported by The Trussell Trust, saw demand skyrocket as soon as lockdown was initiated and has consistently remained so since then.

In the period between the start of lockdown (March 23) and June 1 the foodbank gave out 3,200 parcels, almost three times higher than the same period the year before.

The total amount of food they distributed since lockdown is 35 tonnes, which is more than three times higher than the year before.

Trustee James Nunn predicts demand won’t let up anytime soon and is appealing to the public for support so they could continue to help feed people.

They have also distributed 35 tonnes of food, more than three times the amount from the year before. Picture: James NunnThey have also distributed 35 tonnes of food, more than three times the amount from the year before. Picture: James Nunn

He said: “Unfortunately with the furlough programme coming to an end with the oncoming likely recession and jobs crisis we do not expect the demand for our service to decrease.

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“We understand that money is tight and most people are struggling but now more than ever we need our community to support us and the clients we serve like they have done in the past.”

On top of dealing with the increased demand, the foodbank had to completely change the way it operated in order to keep volunteers and clients as safe as possible.

Since the start of lockdown they have given out 3,200 parcels, almost three times what they gave out last year. Picture: James NunnSince the start of lockdown they have given out 3,200 parcels, almost three times what they gave out last year. Picture: James Nunn

The number of volunteers in on any given day had to be cut down to maintain social distancing and they also needed to stock up on hand sanitisers and masks, which were difficult to source at first.

The foodbank also had to completely change the way food was served and delivered.

Before the pandemic, clients were welcomed into their cafe, in Granville Road, for a chat over a cup of tea while a volunteer would put together their emergency food parcels.

After lockdown for their own safety clients weren’t allowed in the cafe, and had to pick up pre-packaged parcels which were handed to them at the door.

John said the best way to help is to become a regular donor and information can be found at https://redbridge.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/

If you’d like to donate food, there are a number of donation baskets across Redbridge in local supermarkets and other outlets.


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