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Redbridge Foodbank makes donation plea after revealing it delivered 7128 parcels between April and September

PUBLISHED: 17:01 18 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:01 18 November 2020

One of the volunteers pictured working at the Redbridge Foodbank during the coronavirus pandemic, during which he and his colleagues delivered 60 tonnes of food. Picture: Redbridge Foodbank

One of the volunteers pictured working at the Redbridge Foodbank during the coronavirus pandemic, during which he and his colleagues delivered 60 tonnes of food. Picture: Redbridge Foodbank

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Redbridge Foodbank has put out a further call for donations after revealing it delivered 7128 food parcels between April and September this year.

The demand at Redbridge Foodbank between April and September this year was up three times on the equivalent period last year. Picture: Redbridge FoodbankThe demand at Redbridge Foodbank between April and September this year was up three times on the equivalent period last year. Picture: Redbridge Foodbank

Those involved achieved this feat despite the organisation being forced to operate in a restricted way due to Covid-19.

The foodbank’s project manager, Jocelyn Davis, explained what happened at the beginning of the pandemic: “We reduced the numbers, severely, of our volunteers. We set up stations so that we could adhere to the social distancing. One volunteer would take one station each - we carried on. We didn’t close at all, we just continued serving throughout, because people were locked down themselves.”

Volunteers continued working through the strictest lockdown and beyond, distributing a total of 60 tonnes of food over the six months.

Of the sheer volume of deliveries, Jocelyn said: “The amount of food parcels that we actually gave with a reduction in volunteers, and closing our centres, our satellite centres, was up by three-fold.”

Redbridge Foodbank has called for continued public support after revealing it delivered 7128 parcels to people in crisis between April and September. Picture: Redbridge FoodbankRedbridge Foodbank has called for continued public support after revealing it delivered 7128 parcels to people in crisis between April and September. Picture: Redbridge Foodbank

With the foodbank distributing 117 per cent more parcels during this six-month period than between April and September last year, the need for continued support has never been greater.

Seeded by the Trussell Trust, Redbridge foodbank is currently operating out of its one open site, the Jubilee Church in Ilford’s Granville Road.

It has been in operation since April 2010, launched after a number of churches — including the City Gates and King’s Church (now the Jubilee Church) — decided to join the Trussell Trust.

The pandemic has seen demand skyrocket, and with public donations accounting for more than 90pc of the food distributed within the trust’s network, Redbridge Foodbank really does rely on continued public support.

Administrative officer José Soares said: “We are just so thankful that the community is so generous and always responds in time of crisis. We have been so blessed with the incredible amounts of donations so far.”

Beyond Ilford, there are a number of drop-off points across the borough, including in South Woodford, Barkingside, Wanstead and Newbury Park, with people also free to donate directly.

For more information, including on the foodbank’s Christmas Appeal, visit this link.


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