Southend Foodbank is taking guidance on how to respond to coronavirus/ COVID19 from the Trussell Trust as well as information provided by Public Health England and national government advice.
We understand people are concerned about the implications of coronavirus for the foodbank. This may affect: access for guests to referral agencies and distribution sessions, availability of signposted support, availability and health of volunteers, and of course enough food being donated.
Southend Foodbank has over 100 volunteers working between 8 locations; distribution sessions welcome guests six days a week across the Southend and Rochford areas; and the warehouse receives deliveries from more than 30 different places in a typical week. So far in 2020 we have received an average of around 50 referrals each week, which has provided food for an average of 125 people of whom 55 are children. We have also already run out of two kinds of food and needed to purchase additional tinned vegetables, long life juice and tinned rice pudding. However, donations have continued to be exceptionally generous from across the community. There are multiple challenges that we were already experiencing as well as new issues to plan for.
As we plan, we have two aims:
- To keep distributing food to people in crisis and as far as possible keep foodbank distribution sessions open, tackling local hunger without compromising other aspects of our community’s health
- To support our teams and volunteers to make sure they are able to stay healthy and safe as they give their time to the foodbank
The situation is changing, and we will review how we can best achieve these aims in response to the available guidance.
All updates will be posted here on the website, so that current information can be located in one place by the community, referral agencies and the wider public.
If you have any questions not covered by information on the website, please contact [email protected]
16th March 2020 update
We are aware some referral agencies may have limited their 1-to-1 appointments which could reduce their capacity for making referrals to the foodbank. Citizens Advice are still issuing foodbank vouchers, although you will need to book an appointment, see www.citizensadvicesouthend.org.uk
If your nearest referral agency isn’t available, you can also call us on 07456 426203 (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) for additional support to find an alternative.
All distribution centres will be open during their usual hours, however there may be some changes within a session to reduce the amount of contact between people. Warehouse hours will remain the same.
At present we have no capacity to provide home deliveries for people while they are self-isolating. We are, however, taking advice from Trussell Trust on various possibilities for maintaining access under increasingly complex conditions.
Our most urgent food requests are: tinned vegetables, tinned rice pudding or custard, tinned meat pies or other meat meals e.g. meatballs, UHT milk, 500g or 1kg bag of rice.
Donations of soap and washing-up liquid are also appreciated.