The manager of the St Albans and District Foodbank has revealed a month’s worth of food was handed out in a week during the coronavirus pandemic.
Emma Dalton, the charity’s manager, revealed that the charity fed four times the amount of people it normally does in a week at the start of April.
The charity, which his food banks in the New Greens, Cunningham and Sopwell areas of the city, fed 335 people, the amount it normally does in a month.
Emma admitted she has never known demand like it and has called on people across St Albans to keep supporting the food bank.
Emma believes there are a number of different reasons for the current situation.
She said: “We were contacted by a lot of families whose children receive free school meals asking what we could do to support them. We partnered up with local schools and ended up issuing 600 vouchers. The government have since issued further aid but there were delays and problems,
Emma also said that a lot of self-employed people whose work has dried up have been forced to use the food bank for the first time, which has also driven numbers up.
She stressed the food bank is also reliant on the generosity of others across the city and that the people of St Albans have already been extremely generous.
She said: “If people can buy an extra item or two for the food bank when they go out shopping and leave it in one of the permanent collection points in stores across the city, that really helps. Some people have got together with friends and donated straight to the warehouse.
We have also had a lot of money donated, around £10,000 from people across the city with which we are able to buy items at the cash and carry. We’re currently buying 300 litres of UHT milk a week – we normally need that in a month – and because the supermarkets were ransacked at the start of this, purchases are currently very expensive. That shows how close we are to running out.”
Emma said she hopes people will support all charities helping people during these difficult times.
She said: “Keep spreading our messages and spread the word – its ok to approach us and come for help – don’t be frightened, worried or embarrassed.”
The foodbank is only open to people with a financial need.
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