Written by: Sean Morrissey
“I just never thought I’d see something like that here”, he says, “shelves are just naked, you know? Just gone, like they can’t keep up with demand.” He stops. “Never seen anything like it before in my life.” Mark, Food Bank volunteer
A barman by trade, Mark spends a good deal of his free time walking in nearby Wandle Park and working as a warehouse volunteer for his local Croydon food bank. He sees first-hand the impact of coronavirus on vulnerable people.
These wide-scale panic purchases, while disturbing, do have a way of settling back into the familiar, and often sooner than later. As the UK settles back into a relatively familiar routine, we are starting to see the ongoing effects of food shortages and panic buying across the UK food bank network. Food banks across the UK have been forced to reconcile their diminishing stock, leaving many to pay for the difference. For example, the North Paddington food bank, whose donation rate is down 25% in the wake of coronavirus, reported spending an additional £200 each week to cover the needs of vulnerable local families.
At a time when millions are self-isolating at home, or otherwise unable to secure the means they need to feed their family, now more than ever we must ensure that food banks across the UK are able to provide a fully reliable service to their clients. With the UK’s largest network of food banks, The Trussell Trust is leading the fight against food scarcity during this delicate period, garnering vital support from local merchants, like minded charities and community leaders.
Thankfully, organisations like Tesco and XTX Markets have pledged generous sums to mitigate the drought in donations, while members of British Gas will be providing door-to-door parcel delivery for vulnerable clients. These are incredible gestures to be sure, but the unprecedented demands that are facing area food banks cannot survive on corporate charity alone.
Your support of The Trussell Trust, through donations to the Peace Partners fundraising drive extends far beyond the immediate needs of recipients, providing much needed financial support for months to come.