Foodbanks brace for Covid-19 lockdown spike
- Credit: Helena Aksentijevic
Foodbanks are preparing for a rise in demand following the new national Covid-19 lockdown.
Centres have witnessed a growing number of users during the pandemic as some residents’ social and economic circumstances have reached breaking point.
The Trussell Trust foodbank network distributed more than 1.2 million emergency food parcels between April to September last year – a 47% increase that represented its busiest ever six-month period. The charity warned the figures were “just the tip of the iceberg”.
Dorothea Hackman, chair of Euston Foodbank, told the Ham&High its branch has seen a trebling of users during the pandemic, including the homeless and large families from the Regent’s Park and Somers Town estates.
She called on greater emergency funding for local relief, adding: “No one should have to rely on foodbanks. Everyone should have a living wage so they can buy their own food.
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“But while austerity and pandemic measures impact so cruelly on our community, Euston Foodbank will be there.”
Hornsey Foodbank was set up in July to meet growing need amid a steep rise in universal credit claims.
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Organiser and Hornsey councillor Dana Carlin said that in addition to the growing number of regular users, the foodbank is delivering to more than 50 households.
“We will continue to operate during this lockdown period and are grateful for the continued generosity of local residents and traders,” she said.
Andrew Potter, who helps run Child’s Hill Foodbank, said the centre is expecting “many more” families during lockdown.
He said: “We have some volunteers shielding and some already having to isolate so the pressure is being felt by the remainder of the volunteers but luckily we have a wonderful team of volunteers who are happy to give up their own time to help others in need.”
Muswell Hill Foodbank manager Vic Mason said his team is “well stocked” to meet a rise demand.
Address: St. Pancras Church House, 1 Lancing Street, NW1 1NA.
Opening hours: Tuesday 12-4pm, Thursday 5.30-7pm, Saturday 11am-12.30pm, Sunday 2-3:30pm.
Address: Middle Lane Methodist Church, Lightfoot Road, Hornsey, N8 7JN.
Opening hours: Thursdays from 11am to 1pm.
Child’s Hill Foodbank
Address: All Saints’ Church, Child’s Hill, Church Walk, NW2 2TJ.
Opening hours: Saturdays 10am-12pm.
Muswell Hill Foodbank
Address: Pembroke Road Church, 68 Pembroke Road, Muswell Hill, N10 2HT.
Opening hours: Mondays 12.30-2.30pm, Wednesdays 11.30am-1.30pm, Fridays 11.30am-1:30pm.