Two Cheshire based foodbanks, Mid Cheshire Foodbank and Alsager and District Foodbank, each received a £1,000 donation from IT company MIS Group, to support local residents facing food poverty.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the food banks.
Mid Cheshire Foodbank, a member of the Trussell Trust, said that during the UK’s Coronavirus pandemic, they fed twice as many people as they did during the same time period last year.
Alsager and District Foodbank, an independent charity, have also worked hard to respond to an increase in the number of local people in crisis.
At the same time public donations of food items have decreased, as lockdown forced residents to change their shopping habits and those now living on reduced incomes are unable to buy surplus items to donate.
Both foodbanks will use the donation awarded to them by the Northwich-based company to help fund essential items which are currently low in stock. This can include store cupboard essentials as well as fresh produce, toiletries, hand soap and laundry detergent.
Volunteers and staff at the charities were delighted to learn that they had been nominated and selected for these donations.
Vanessa Howard, who volunteers at Alsager and District Foodbank said: “Financial donations are incredibly helpful to us. We are able to buy fresh produce like bread, fruit and vegetables to help make sure people are getting good nutritional foods. We are also able to stock up on items that we’re low on. We really make the most of every penny we receive”.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people facing financial crisis has soared and many people are finding themselves needing the support of their local food bank for the first time in their lives.
Catherine Lawton, project manager at Mid Cheshire Foodbank said: “We recently helped a single parent who had just lost their job, and came to us as a last resort because there was only enough food in the house for the children’s breakfast. They had never used a food bank before and were so ashamed that they were unable to provide for their children. Food poverty should not exist like this in the UK, but unfortunately it has become a reality for more people than ever.”
As hygiene becomes more important than ever, it isn’t just food that people need. Vanessa added: “The advice people have been given is to wash their hands and clothes more often. We want to help people reduce the spread of the virus and so have started providing laundry detergent and hand soap, as well as more general toiletries”.
The donation was made as part of the MIS Group’s UK-wide Food for All campaign, which has been launched in a bid to stamp out food poverty and raise the profile of these important charities. MIS Group has pledged to donate a total of £20,000 to twenty UK food banks over a ten-week period.
Managing Director of MIS-AMS, which is part of the MIS Group, said: “We recognise that across the country, more and more people are hitting crisis point. The financial impact of COVID-19 is huge and we wanted to do something positive to help people who have been affected, and give something back.”