This crisis is testing food banks across the country like never before. Empty supermarket shelves have taken their toll on donations. The loss of volunteers who we have asked to stay home for their safety has seen teams stretched. Increased need brought on by the disruption of the past few weeks has seen more people turning to us for help.
We have never been more needed, and as a result we have never been more in need of your support.
And where there is fear for the future, there is also hope. Just as people have arrived asking us for help, more and more people daily have knocked on our door to offer us food. We have seen people arrive at our sites to pick up parcels for the self isolating, and our volunteers have all stepped up to do whatever they can to keep our services going. Just as has been the case many times before, great challenges are being accompanied by incredible kindness.
But if we are going to last the next 12 weeks – the time it will take for the tide to turn on this virus – we will need your help.
First and foremost, we need food. While we are blessed with plenty of storage, we know with increased need comes the likelihood that we may run out of some of the things our service users rely on.
If you can donate any of the following, you will be helping us to continue to fight hunger in the borough during this time of crisis:
|Long life juice
|Rice – Both Dried and Microwaveable
|Snacks – Crisps, Crackers etc
|Tinned Pulses – chick peas,
red kidney beans, butter beans, etc.
|Sweet treats – chocolate,
cereal bars etc
Food can be dropped off at either of our food bank sites in Barking and Chadwell Heath. Find all the details, including opening times, here.
Alternatively you can drop donations off at our Dagenham storage, or with out supermarket partners. Find out more here.
We are also in urgent need of something we do not usually ask for – shopping bags
In responding to this virus, we have had to change the way we hand out food – and while we once relied on service users to bring their own means of transporting their parcels, we are now pre-bagging everything we hand on.
If you have a stash of old bags-for-life hiding in the kitchen cupboard or under the sink, please consider handing them over at one of our food banks. All we ask is that you make sure they are sufficiently sturdy – much of what we hand out are heavy tinned goods.
If you can donate money, we can then channel this into the areas of the most need
Like many we are also heading into the supermarket to find empty shelves – and both Barking Foodbank and the Trussell Trust are working hard with shops to find a way to get this resolved in a way that helps our service users. If you are able to make a financial contribution, we will be able to use this to buy the goods we need as the ramifications of panic buying are resolved.
To contribute securely using our online DonatePal service, please click here.
If you can donate your time, we can ensure we reach the largest possible number of people
Like many food banks across the country, our service operates with a huge amount of support from retirees who have since been asked to self isolate. If you can offer a minimum of a couple of hours, once a week, to help us to help the community, you will be supporting us at an unprecedented time of need.
In particular we need Food Bank Volunteers to help build food parcels for those in need, Warehouse Volunteers to organise our supplies and keep us running, and Drivers (particularly with access to vans) to help us keep our sites stocked up, while also helping us get out into the community.
Our volunteers come from a spectrum of circumstances and backgrounds. If you think you could help, please get in touch.
The next 12 weeks will test all of us – with your support we will get through it and continue to support those in the borough who need our help.