Foodbanks in urgent call for volunteers in east London to help families in need during Covid emergency
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Charities sending food to people in isolation hit by the Covid-19 pandemic are appealing for volunteers to help run collections in supermarkets this Christmas.
The FareShare and the Trussell Trust charities which run foodbanks or distribution networks in East London and elsewhere are making collections in Tesco stores from Thursday, November 19, until Saturday.
FareShare is looking volunteers at donation points in the stores while Trussell Trust foodbanks want volunteers to share shopping lists on social media to encourage donations online.
“Many families have fallen victim to the economic impact of the pandemic,” Fareshare’s Rachel Ledwith explained. “Many more are at risk of losing jobs and livelihoods.
“There has been a huge increase in people turning to community groups for support as demand for food is more than double pre-pandemic levels.”
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The organisation has tripled the amount of food it has been providing East End charities and community groups since the start of the pandemic and is continuing to supply food supporting families this winter.
Shoppers are being encouraged to donate long-life products including canned goods to help food banks and community groups support families in need this Christmas. The Tesco chain is topping up customer donations by 20 per cent in cash to help the two charities.
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Trussell Trust’s Ruth Koch said: “We would be grateful if people can share on social media the shopping lists of our food bank’s most-needed items to encourage friends and family to donate, to make sure food banks can help people in crisis this winter.
“A crisis can often bring out the best in people. We have been overwhelmed by the support shown towards food banks during the coronavirus outbreak.”
The Trust is expecting to give out six emergency food parcels every minute this winter. It runs 21 London foodbanks including Hoxton’s Florence Bennett Centre in Cherbury Street and at St Mark’s community centre at Tollgate Road in Beckton.
Volunteers will need to adhere to the Covid-19 rules in supermarkets when they take part, organisers point out. Those interested in volunteering are being urged to sign up online.