How to help food banks during the coronavirus crisis

FOOD banks have become a vital service for many households as the economic impact of coronavirus really bites the hardest hit British families.

Here’s how you can help your local foodbank.

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If the dramatic scenes have left you wondering how you can help, you might be considering donating to your local food bank.

From finding your nearest one, to what items they're likely to need, we've rounded up everything you need to know.

Remember to put your own health first though and only volunteer or make a donation if you're able to do so.
This is especially important if you should be self-isolating.

How do I find my nearest food bank?

The Trussell Trust has an online search tool where you can pop in your postcode to track down your nearest food bank.

The charity tells us that it only knows of one food bank that is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

What should I donate?

The Trussell Trust tells us it isn't sure how the coronavirus pandemic will impact food stock levels in the coming months.

Because of this, it encourages volunteers to donate long-life items that will last.

A staggering 90 per cent of items at food banks are donated by the public.

As well as food, items such as toiletries and hygiene products are usually needed.

What should I donate?

HERE are some examples of long-life items that are in need at food banks.

  • UHT Milk
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Beans
  • Spaghetti
  • Long life juice
  • Tomato/pasta sauce
  • Soup
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Beans
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Cereal
  • Rice pudding
  • Custard
  • Biscuits

How else can I help my local food bank?

You should contact your closest food bank if you're able to volunteer.

There's also the option of arranging a collection at your school, church or workplace – but again, only if you feel well enough to do so.

If you're not able to leave the house, for example if you're self-isolating, you can also donate money online through The Trussell Trust website.

How do food banks work?

Families and individuals are usually referred to a food bank.

This is usually done through professionals including doctors, health visitors, social workers and Citizens Advice.

Once referred, the person gets a voucher that can be redeemed for an emergency parcel with a minimum of three days worth of food.

Here's how free school meals and vouchers work during the school shut down.

Plus, we've rounded up how much food you need to stockpile for two-week self-isolation.

What is statutory sick pay and how much will you get due to coronavirus?


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