Foodbank usage in the UK has been steadily increasing year on year, but the Coronavirus pandemic and introduction of the UK lockdown on the 23rd of March had a huge impact on the number of people who needed their help. As businesses closed their doors for an indefinite period, people lost their jobs and fell through the cracks of government support. Consequently, food banks in communities across the UK saw the demand for their help skyrocket. In the first week of lockdown, the Trussell Trust issued 50,000 food packs across the country, almost double what they’d done the year previous.
If you need a visual to help you see how in demand that is, just take a look at this video that Billy McGranaghan, the manager of Dad’s House (a London based food bank), shared of the queues into his building.
And it wasn’t just in the initial two-week rush to stockpile that saw people needing the extra support. Almost three months after the lockdown was announced, the Independent found that one in four adults in the UK are struggling to afford food during the pandemic. The effects of food poverty caused by coronavirus will be felt for months, if not years to come.
Facts like this can so often sound like just numbers, but behind every pack given out is an individual, couple or family in need. And it could have happened to any of us; so many of the people claiming the support never thought they’d be the ones needing to use the service. An NHS worker, a family who used to make weekly £50 donations to their local Food Bank, a TV and Film freelancer, a self-employed mother, all needed their help. They’ve been a godsend to those who need them.
The Trussell Trust supports 1,200 food banks all over the UK, who help provide nutritionally balanced three-day food packs for people who can’t afford to buy their own. In 2018/19, they gave out 1.6 million of these packs to make sure that no one went hungry. They pride themselves in serving their communities with dignity and respect.
Find out more about the work that they do on their website: https://www.trusselltrust.org