Food banks are facing a crisis with coronavirus. Let's turn that around.
The measures put in place to slow down coronavirus will inevitably hit the most vulnerable hardest. Food banks are already feeling the strain. Nervous shoppers are stockpiling exactly the sort of items — pasta, canned good and grains — that might otherwise be donated to those in immediate need.
Donations are down. If the situation continues — and scientists say we're nowhere near peak virus yet — then some food banks may have to switch to delivery-only, or close altogether.
Sufra food bank has put out an emergency appeal. "While some people are fighting over the last toilet roll in their supermarket, the donations we rely on to keep the food bank open are dwindling," says the charity. As well as more food donations, Sufra is also appealing for financial donations and long-term support, to help top up food parcels.
The mantra "charity begins at home" just doesn't cut it. In the weeks ahead, we need to look out for each other all the more. It's easy to feel powerless in the wake of a global issue like coronavirus, but dropping an extra tin or packet into the food bank collection is a simple, inexpensive way to help.
Find a food bank via the Trussell Trust. Food donations can be made in most major supermarkets.