Food bank usage in Nottingham has surged since the COVID-19 outbreak – with increased demand above normal levels by 33% or more.
Several food banks have also reported increases in the numbers of families using them, with more family packs requiring higher volumes of food.
The UK imports around 50% of its food, so the disruption to supply, increased demand and fewer donations, is proving to be a big challenge for the city’s food banks.
On top of this, a combination of social-distancing measures, isolation for at-risk groups and the closure of community locations, such as churches and schools, has prevented many regular food bank donors from doing so in their usual manner.
One of the things Nottingham people have done is enabled thousands to be given to food banks through the Robin Hood Fund, which was launched by a collective of local stakeholders, supported by the City Council. Its aim is to support organisations which can have the most impact on those that are most vulnerable across the city, already raising over £80,000 for homeless people, vulnerable women, refugees, disabled people and vulnerable young people. So far, £20,000 worth of food and supplies has been distributed to many of the city’s food banks. If you or your business would like to make a donation, please visit www.robinhoodfund.org and make a donation now.
Cllr Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Communities at Nottingham City Council, said: “We are doing all we can to support our communities during this pandemic, providing coordination, information and much-needed resources. No-one in Nottingham should be going hungry.
“We have seen just how generous and community spirited people are in Nottingham during this crisis, and I want to thank those who have already donated or provided help and support. However, there are people who continue to need our support, and I want to encourage individuals and businesses to donate directly to their local food banks or the Robin Hood Fund, if in a position to do so. Together, we can support our most vulnerable residents and help Nottingham get through this.” More information about food banks, community-based food projects and how to donate can be found on the Nottingham City Council website: https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/food-banks-and-community-based-food-projects/