Cornwall news Sobering impact of Covid and lockdown on Cornwall's foodbanks UK news

MetiNews.Com - 'This time last year we were doing 50 food parcels a month. Now we’re doing 350.'

Cornwall news Sobering impact of Covid and lockdown on Cornwall's foodbanks UK news

MetiNews.Com - 'This time last year we were doing 50 food parcels a month. Now we’re doing 350.'

Cornwall news  Sobering impact of Covid and lockdown on Cornwall's foodbanks  UK news
22 November 2020 - 18:15

Breaking News ! With seasonal work running dry and the effects of a second Coronavirus lockdown hitting, foodbanks across Cornwall say they are struggling to keep up with demand. Foodbank legend Don Gardner’s recent appearance on the BBC shone a light on Cornwall’s food poverty problem - and received a huge number of donations following the show. But the problem exists across the county, and is particularly bad where many people are reliant on seasonal work. Bude Bude foodbank workers have been carrying on their efforts in lockdown (Image: Bude foodbank) Needed donations: Cash, so the foodbank can target what people need most. Click here to find out more. “This time last year we were doing 50 food parcels a month,” said Jon Michael of Bude foodbank. “Now we’re doing around 350.” Winter is a tough month for Cornwall in a normal year, Mr Michael said, but 2020 has hit the Duchy’s most vulnerable more than any other year. “With Bude being a seasonal area, unemployment has been sketchy this year. People have uncertainty about their future, and people in our community are really struggling.” Mr Michael’s foodbank covers both Bude and the area around the town. “People with mental health issues or struggling with debt, and debt management, and all the complications with go with that - there’s been a dramatic rise this year.” The numbers agree with Mr Michael: with 95 per cent more people on Universal Credit in Cornwall now than in March, communities are struggling to put food on the table. Mr Michael said he welcomed the extension of furlough, but is worried about another spike in demand once it ends. “Second lockdown the steaks are higher, and the situation is pretty bleak for a lot of people,” he said. “With Covid cases increasing in Bude we are concerned.” Penzance and west Cornwall CTIPA Foodbank Penzance (Image: CTIPA Foodbank Penzance) Needed donations: Anything, but especially essentials such as baked beans, long life milk, tinned food. Click here to find out more. In Penzance, church groups have been running foodbanks - with demand for their services also at an all-time high. “We’re a very small unit, compared to the one which Don runs,” Christine Gendall, of Churches Together in Penzance Area, said. “He’s got a warehouse, we have two small rooms. But we also cover a very large area: from Crowlith to Land’s End.” Ms Gendall’s group operates out of the tiny site in Penzance, and has had problems getting enough volunteers recently: “Most of our volunteers are over 70, with lockdown a lot of us can’t come in because they’re at risk or looking after vulnerable people. CTIPA Foodbank Penzance (Image: CTIPA Foodbank Penzance) She added that, much like in Bude, need for their services has sky-rocketed because of a lack of seasonal work and the second lockdown. “Since this second lockdown the number of donations has dropped off,” she added. The CTIPA foodbank launched in 2011, with the help of Don Gardner himself, and offers food to anyone with a voucher which can be gained via one of Cornwall’s many agencies. The nearby Penlee Cluster of churches run a similar service. Rev Sian Yates, who runs it, is encouraging people to give generously for their Christmas donations. “ It’s about having our dignity and not having a world of them and us. Penzance is one of the poorest areas in the UK,” she said.

. “I’m not sure how it’d affect my wellbeing if I had beans on toast for Christmas lunch. We all have that same need, and that need is sometimes to have a treat.” Penryn and Falmouth Needed donations: Christmas food and presents for hampers Click here to find out more. Joanna Crook, who manages the Penryn and Falmouth foodbank, shed light on the problem of rural poverty: “It affects all age ranges," she said. “My first few weeks at Stithians, the village I live in where we set up a new satellite foodbank, there were isolated elderly couples and young families in the same week. “The issue of seasonal jobs and zero hours contracts affects all of us.” Like its Bude counterpart, it is supported by UK-wide food charity The Trussel Trust. Ms Crook said people had been incredibly generous in what has been a very tough year for everyone. “Communities are very very generous,” she said. “Some of the financial donations go a really long way. “We were able to go and buy things we ran out of like a balanced set of meals for a set number of days. “And people are definitely more aware thanks to Don’s high profile.” Don Gardner was astonished to receive £120,000 in donations this week (Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live) The Penryn and Falmouth foodbank also covers the area around the town, and down to Constantine. The team are currently trying to put together Christmas hampers for people who are struggling this winter. Wadebridge, Bodmin and Camelford Wadebridge foodbank workers in their storeroom (Image: Wadebridge foodbank) Needed donations: Christmas food for hampers Click here to find out more. “What was really hard to see was referrals for children increase by 80% since the first lockdown,” said Jackie White, manager of the foodbank which covers a huge area in the North East of Cornwall. During the summer months, things were not as manic for the Wadebridge, Bodmin and Camelford foodbank, but the second lockdown changed things. “It levelled when people had their jobs, but it’s on the rise again now with winter and the second lockdown,” Ms White said. The huge spike in demand has been helped by the generosity of furloughed workers volunteering at the foodbank, but the year has been tough for her team who have been doing deliveries for people during the November restrictions. They are also looking to put together seasonal hampers, and are asking for everything from Christmas puddings to mince pies - as well as normal food. South East Cornwall Needed donations: Christmas food for hampers Click here to find out more. David Berry, of the Looe and Liskeard foodbank, said the pressure has piled on recently - but praised his local community’s generosity. “It’s staggering what comes in,” he said. “Clearly we’ve all been preparing for the worst case, and the projections the local authority put together for likely redundancies and job losses. “Our demand currently compared to this time last year is up substantially. The last two weeks are 100% higher, and it’s ramping up week on week.” Mr Berry’s foodbank is starting its Christmas appeal too, and recently crowd funded a van to do deliveries. These six food charities, however, are not the only ones which are crying out for support this winter - they exist in all corners of Cornwall. And as Mr Berry said, having spoken to people in other areas, they are all feeling the bite of winter and the Covid lockdown alike.

Source = MetiNews.Com - Cornwall

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Cornwall news Sobering impact of Covid and lockdown on Cornwall's foodbanks UK news


Cornwall news Sobering impact of Covid and lockdown on Cornwall's foodbanks UK news


Cornwall news Sobering impact of Covid and lockdown on Cornwall's foodbanks UK news


Cornwall news Sobering impact of Covid and lockdown on Cornwall's foodbanks UK news

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