News from Shepway Food Bank on 6th May 2020
Shepway foodbank saw an increase on 104% of people that we provided food to in the last two week of March compare to the same time last year. The increase in the number of children we supplied food for was an unbelievable 195%. We are seeing an increase in the number of families that are finding they need the foodbank because parents are either self-employed or on zero hour contracts. I was speaking to a lovely man yesterday at the foodbank who was there to collect food for him, his wife and 4 children. He was telling me that he is a taxi driver and how the main stay of his monthly salary comes from a school run that he does for a child with special needs but this child isn't going to school so that regular income has stopped. He said he wanted to work but there is just no call for taxis at the moment. Another gentleman that I spoke to was a mobile hairdresser so he wasn't able to work he explained that he and his family have lived off their saving until now but they have now run out of money and universal credit claims are taking so long to process due to the large volume that the benefits office are receiving he found that he had no funds to be able to feed his family.
We obviously aren't receiving the same volume of donations, as a large proportion of our donations come from churches in our community. However, Tesco's are making a weekly delivery to us which is really helping and the Hawkinge Football club ran a three day drive thru donation point and they collected in just over half a ton of food for us.
I have had to reduce the number of volunteers that we have at both our warehouse and the foodbanks themselves so that we can follow government guidelines regarding social distancing so the work that the volunteers are undertaking is far more than they would normally be doing and we will all be a lot fitter by the end of this horrible crisis.
It was difficult at first but I think we are now getting rather good at keeping ourselves and our clients safe and thankfully we are able to continue to run all of our foodbanks in Folkestone, New Romney and Lydd.
Thank you for your continued support
Shepway Foodbank Manager
The Parish of St Leonard, Hythe