'Anyone might now need the foodbank' - charity faces unprecedented challenge and uncertain future - The Rugby Observer

'Anyone might now need the foodbank' - charity faces unprecedented challenge and uncertain future

Rugby Editorial 17th Mar, 2020 Updated: 17th Mar, 2020   0

AN ‘UNPRECEDENTED’ challenge and an uncertain future faces Rugby Foodbank amid increased demand because of the coronavirus crisis.

The head of the charity which runs the service said she was very concerned for volunteers, staff and clients – but added the foodbank would do ‘all it can to stay open’.

Diana Mansell, chair of Hope4, said foodbanks would likely face increased demand, as people lose income while food donations decrease and staff and volunteers become unavailable due to illness or self-isolation.

She said: “We face an unprecedented challenge and uncertain future.

“None of us are immune to the virus or the knock-on effect this will have on our jobs and economy – anyone might now need the foodbank.”

She said foodbanks were already dealing with record levels of demand.

“I would urge everyone to be mindful of those in their street who may end up ill or self-isolating – this is the perfect opportunity for us to pull together and grow community like never before.

“Let’s all pick up an extra item or two for the foodbank, not just our own cupboards, when we go shopping.”


Rugby Foodbank moved its storage warehouse to new premises last weekend.

Around 35 people, including members of local churches and a running club, joined forces with removal company David Gilkes Co to move over 12 tonnes of food, racking and equipment to the new site, The Retreat building next to the Benn Hall – provided courtesy of Rugby Borough Council (RBC).

The New Life church in Railway Terrace has hosted the warehouse free of charge for the last seven years – but needed to use the space for new projects.

Diana said: “We are very grateful to the church for their support, but we were all really worried and spent many months searching for a suitable, affordable town centre site – and nothing seemed to be available.

“I am very grateful to RBC who have stepped in and made this move possible. It’s nothing short of a miracle!

“We have a new town centre site where we can store food, meet clients and in time expand our services while continuing to look for a suitable permanent facility.”

RBC corporate resources spokeswoman Coun Carolyn Robbins said: “The council recognises the important role community, voluntary and charitable organisations play in the borough. Rugby Foodbank has been looking a for a new, permanent home for some time and we’re happy to provide The Retreat on a temporary basis while the charity carries on its search for a new base.”

Visit www.rugby.foodbank.org.uk for more information on what the foodbank currently needs. The new warehouse is open to receive donations on Wednesdays at 9.30am-1.30pm, and Fridays at 11am-2pm. There are also donation drop-off sites in major supermarkets, shops and community buildings around the town.

Contact [email protected] to offer Rugby Foodbank a permanent base, or to host a collection basket at a community group or shop.


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