Coronavirus: Investment bankers extend funding for Hackney food bank over school holidays
PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 June 2020
Bankers in the City are extending financial aid to the main Hackney food bank for the next three months to cover the school holidays in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Foodbanks in Poplar and Beckton as well as Hackney are also getting supplies promised until mid-September to tackle poverty caused by the Covid-19 emergency.
The supplies are being guaranteed by Investec bank and financial services which is paying to distribute essential supplies to Trussell and to First Love trusts that run the foodbanks.
The funding extension over the school holidays has been welcomed by Trussell Trust’s Hackney business director Melanie Rochford, acknowledging “much needed stability” at a difficult time.
“It allows us to focus on essential support to those most vulnerable,” she said.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has placed demand on our already over-stretched resources to support families below the poverty line.”
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The First Love Trust in neighbouring Tower Hamlets is having to cope with a colossal 700 per cent rise in food poverty cases over the last month, compared to this time last year.
First Love’s Yasmine Patpatia revealed: “We have transformed our entire operation as an emergency, to make sure we reach the most vulnerable and deprived and deliver food door-to-door as safely and quickly as possible.
“We are needed more than ever in this extremely tough time and urgently need both food and distribution networks. The bank’s commitment supplying us with food has been a vital lifeline.”
But it involves more than money. The logistics needed to supply thousands of items every week through the Aldi supermarket distribution network is being coordinated by Investec’s staff volunteering their time since April.
Investec’s Teresa O’Brien said: “We are able to extend support to these food banks by a further 12 weeks, as this period will cover the school holidays.”
The volunteers are getting 15,500 items every week to each of the three food banks for the growing number of families relying on them, in many cases replacing free school meals.
They aim to make sure the foodbanks have “more than they need” to continue without worrying about resources.
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