23rd Oct, 2020

Demand soars at foodbanks as hard-up families look for help

Ross Crawford 30th May, 2020

DEMAND at the Redditch Foodbank has reached new levels with a similar increase across at the Arden Foodbank in Studley and Alcester.

In Redditch by April 9 the foodbank in Alcester Street had already given out as much food out as it would expect to do in the entire month.

In the smaller Arden foodbanks in Studley and Alcester demand was up by one third as families struggled to cope with the impact of the cornavirus pandemic, job losses and being furloughed.

And organisers in both Redditch and Arden paid tribute to the generosity of their donors and the hard work of their volunteers in keeping people from destitution.

“We are still doing okay,” said Rev Robin Baker, of the charity Acts of Kindness which works with the Trussell Trust at Redditch Foodbank.

“We have been working in partnership with the other help agencies in Redditch during the pandemic to reach people in isolation.

“Thanks to the generosity of people, both financially and in terms of food donations we are currently able to meet the high demand.

“We have re-structured and feel we are quite lucky as a lot of charities are not in our situation.

“The bad news is that we have to have a foodbank in the first place and we do not know how bad it’s going to get with the recession in the country.

“We still need the generosity of people who can help others but this town is brilliant and people have a genuine understanding of care.

“Our volunteers too have been wonderful.”

Susan Kinnersley, chair of Arden Foodbank said they too were well-placed.

“People have been very generous with food and money even as demand has increased,” she said.

“We did wonder during lockdown if people would find it difficult with donations but in many ways they have been even more generous.

“We’ve been lucky too to have several younger people come forward to help as 90 per cent of our volunteers were over 70.

“We set the foodbank up seven years ago thinking it would tide people over for two years and here we still are – the situation is appalling.”

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