Our chairperson Liz Mills has paid tribute to the generosity of local donors and volunteers who have helped keep the service stocked with food during a spike in demand.
A range of organisations, shops, individuals and businesses regularly donate to the foodbank, but with the number of referrals more than doubling local people have stepped up their donations. The foodbank is consistently helping over 100 households every month during the Covid 19 outbreak and so far this year, we have already helped over 250 households in total.
Responding to the challenge of Covid-19
Liz comments: “The demands of dealing with Covid-19 have been challenging, but the local community has responded brilliantly. The generous donations we received at Harvest and Christmas meant that we had a lot of food until recently. However, with so many more people in need across the region, our supplies have been rapidly diminishing – which has made the amazing support from both regular and new donors even more important.”
We are now supplementing gaps in food stocks by purchasing products such as tinned minced meat, vegetables and fruit using financial donations made by both individuals and organisations. There have also been food drives in churches and in some residential areas.
Some food has been limited in supply or has had quantity restrictions placed on it so the donations at collection points have been essential. “Of course, people should only donate when on their essential shopping trip to reduce unnecessary travel,” Liz adds.
Support from the community
Within Harborough, Sainsburys, both Co-ops, Waitrose, B&M, and the Halifax have all kept donation points open. New collection points have also opened up at Refill Revolution and Lidl as well as the Co-op at Great Glen. In addition, The Well at Kibworth has set up a pop-up foodbank in to support local people in need during the crisis.
Liz comments: “The foodbanks at Harborough and Kibworth are a perfect example of the community working in accord to support each other. The service simply couldn’t run without that assistance. From those checking in on vulnerable people, to those giving money, time or food, we hugely appreciate this essential help at such a difficult time.
“As many of our experienced volunteers are currently isolating, we are training up new volunteers but due to the requirements of social distancing this takes time,” Liz explains. “We look forward to welcoming back all our original volunteers when it is safe to do so.”
Harborough District Council has also pitched in by reassigning staff to help, and VASL is also offering ongoing support.
Visit the Jubilee Foodbank Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jubileefoodbankmh/.