Coronavirus: Foodbank supplies hit by panic buyers

Coronavirus: Foodbank supplies hit by panic buyers

By Michael Upton | 26/03/2020

Coronavirus: Foodbank supplies hit by panic buyers

FOODBANK manager Sean Gibbons said panic buying had hit supply levels hard but efforts were underway to support those in need amid the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Gibbons, whose firm Food Aware redistributes surplus food and co-ordinates Mexborough Foodbank, said the amount left over from their usual suppliers had fallen as stockpiling shoppers stripped shelves bare last week.

“All the panic buying is having an impact,” he said.

Last Friday’s foodbank session, which was run from the Food Aware van (pictured), was likely to be the last for some time, he said.

Working with members of the town-wide Mexborough Neighbourhood Network and Doncaster Council, Food Aware would be putting together care packs and food supplies for people in need and those in self-isolation, Mr Gibbons added.

“We’ve had a lot of people starting to contact us even before this situation so what we’re trying to do is manage where we are now and look to the future as there are going to be more people struggling,” he said.

“Shops are going to be closing that is going to have an impact as people still have bills to pay.

“We are trying to get some more supplies and I’m going to be asking the supermarkets for some more ambient supplies to complement what we have.

“We can get information from partners including the council to identify the most vulnerable and support their needs.”

Food parcels are given to people in need free of charge.

They are exchanged for a referral voucher issued by Doncaster Council, St Leger Homes, Citizens Advice and other groups.

Mr Gibbons added: “More and more people are going to be needing our grassroots services as we move forward through challenging and uncertain times.

“A number of community buildings have now closed and St Leger Homes staff are now working from home so some people are going to struggle to access a food parcel voucher.

“The best advice is keep in touch with key workers over the phone via the usual helplines this is housing estate officers for SLH tenants who can email us and arrange for a food parcel to be delivered to someone in need who is home bound or self isolating.”

Visit the Food Aware or Mexborough Foodbank pages on Facebook or contact Doncaster Council for more information.

Donations of tins and packets can be made at Lidl in Mexborough and Sainsbury’s in Conisbrough.

For larger donations, collection can be arranged on 01709 717186.

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