As many people face additional financial difficulties due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, there has been increased demand on foodbanks over the past few weeks.
Not only are they receiving a greater number of referrals, but they are also seeing a decline in food donations and food surplus supplies from food retailers. Foodbank staff and volunteers therefore have to find alternative ways of getting food to those in most need.
Which is why East Midlands Railway (EMR), working through local Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs), has donated £2,500 to foodbanks across the East Midlands. This will help purchase ‘top-up’ supplies for food parcels, as well as helping towards the costs of operating home delivery services, such as vehicle hire and fuel costs.
The money donated by EMR will be divided up as follows:
- £1,500 to Rural Action Derbyshire (Matlock, Belper and Long Eaton / Sawley) through the Derwent Valley Line CRP;
- £500 to Boston Food Bank, Lincolnshire through the Poacher Line CRP;
- £500 to the Lyme Trust, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire through North Staffs CRP.
EMR managing director Will Rogers said: “The Community Development Fund is used to support initiatives that have significant impact in the wider communities EMR serves.
“We are delighted to be able to support these foodbanks across the East Midlands at such a difficult time for so many of our local communities.”
Chris Ladner, parish resource officer for the Boston foodbank, one of the recipients, said: “Every day, people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. A simple box of food makes a big difference, with foodbanks helping prevent crime, housing loss, family breakdown and mental health problems.
“In these unprecedented times, as a town, along with the rest of the country, our Foodbank has never been so important in supporting our community. Indeed, those using the Foodbank have increased considerably over the last month.
“The Boston Foodbank operates as a charity, relying on generous donations and food and money. This grant will be used to support those who are most in need within our community to help them through these tough times.”