Foodbanks need support more than ever as demand rockets - The Rugby Observer

Foodbanks need support more than ever as demand rockets

Rugby Editorial 21st May, 2020   0

KEEP supporting us is the plea from foodbanks following rocketing demand during the pandemic.

Both Rugby Foodbank and Lutterworth & Villages Foodbank have been under increasing pressure as people struggle to make ends meet.

The Lutterworth & Villages service saw close to a 100 per cent increase in the number of three-day food parcels distributed across its two centres in Lutterworth and Countesthorpe from mid-March to the end of April.

The service processed 379 three-day parcels during the lockdown – the equivalent of 3,411 meals and 3.5 tonnes of food.

Lucy Freeman, project manager at Lutterworth & Villages Foodbank, said: “Our foodbank is needed more than ever.

“We are working with many local agencies and frontline professionals to offer support to our clients by providing emergency food and supplies to families referred to us in financial crisis.

“As part of The Trussell Trust, we are campaigning for the day when our services are no longer needed but we know that for the foreseeable future, we will need to play a crucial part in supporting the most vulnerable amongst us.

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our wonderful communities who all continue to donate food and support us with financial donations.”

Diana Mansell, chair of Hope4 which operates Rugby Foodbank, said foodbanks were dealing with record levels of demand.

She added: “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.”

Lucy went on to thank all those who regularly donated online and items into the charity’s supermarket collecting bins. She also had thanked The Rotary Club of Lutterworth for its £500 donation which allowed the purchase of extra items for emergency parcels.

Lucy continued: “Our fantastic team of volunteers of course included those who have had to shield or isolate themselves from this dreadful virus but they all continue to support us from afar.

“We have stream-lined our operation to ensure the safety of our operational volunteers and continue to tweak our operation as things evolve but over the past few weeks, things have settled into a pattern which is working extremely well. We are incredibly grateful to our volunteers who are working so hard to ensure we can keep operating safely.

“As we move into the next phase of this pandemic, our focus is on continuing to operate safely and also to ensure that we are able to continue in our mission to ensure that those in financial crisis in our communities are able to access our services.

“We will continue to adapt to the changing situation and I know that with the support of our local communities, we can continue to be there for the people who need us most, for as long as they need us.”

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