Registered charity number: 1160989
As confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise - and show no signs of slowing - within the UK, the public’s response to stockpile has reached an unsustainable an unsympathetic level. There are a wealth of factors beyond the control of the individual, which can result in families and individuals becoming dependant on food banks. With cuts in wages, pensions, benefits and healthcare, the communities within our society who are most in need are already facing an uphill battle, before the outbreak of pandemic.
Since the first cases of coronavirus in the UK were confirmed on January 31st, the air of uncertainty amongst the general public has only thickened. With the prospect of social isolation and quarantining on the cards, it was only natural that people took to the supermarkets and started stockpiling toiletries and store cupboard staples.
Unfortunately, as those who are in a position to, over-stock their homes with food and household goods - only forced to stop when the shelves run dry as opposed to their funds - food banks become stretched even further. Donations from the public make up 90% of the supplies they procure, which has already fallen in economic uncertainty, but is anticipated to drastically continue to as the coronavirus outbreak continues.
Food banks across the UK and Ireland provided essential provisions to almost two million people last year; easing living conditions, helping feed children and aiding those with life-altering health conditions. These are the people however who are going to be worst affected in the current circumstances, not only by the health risks, but the shortage of simple necessities.
At The Fine & Country Foundation we are launching a campaign amongst our agents and their clients, to encourage thinking about those who are in a less secure position during these times. Yes, we don’t know what the long-term picture is surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, but for the millions of people who are already in vulnerable conditions, it is going to be devastatingly worse.
Whilst among the general public fear is feeding fear, who’s feeding the homeless?
The Fine & Country Foundation has always been recognised for its contribution to the charitable sector, having raised nearly half a million pounds to date, towards combatting the causes of homelessness. Our agents are vigorous competitors and empowered activists when it comes to the fundraising they do, and this drive is needed now more than ever.
We understand that everyone is facing new challenges and having to adapt their lives in ways they probably never thought that they would have to. However, it is a vital that we do what we can, in a capacity that we feel safe, in order to help those less fortunate.
Whether as a household, a street, or a local community, we need everyone to band together and contribute what they can to help ease the critical pressure on our food banks.
There are many simple ways which you and your community can do your bit, whilst remaining safe.
Why not start a WhatsApp group with your neighbours. Tell them you'll be walking to your local food bank on Monday at 11am, so that they know to leave something out for you to pick up on your way past, and donate on their behalf.
Make a 'Food Bank Bingo Drop Point' in your front garden. Let your local community know that they can leave donations there, knowing you'll take them to the food bank for them.
If you fancy giving yourself a challenge, we've created a Food Bank Bingo score board (available to download here.) Print it out, stick it on your fridge and cross off each item once its been donated.
We'd love to see photos of you making your way through the board, especially when you get a full house! Tag @FineAndCountryFoundation on facebook and we'll share your hard work with the network.
We've also created a series of assets for you to use across your social media, promoting what you're doing to help the less fortunate in your community, and to encourage others to do the same.
Find your local Trussell Trust food bank here or get in touch if you're stuggling to find one.
There are so many ways we can help those less fortunate during these challenging times. Please get in touch if you'd like help finding out what you can do in your local area.
Donate to The Foundation here.
Nominate your local food bank or homelessness charity for our Spring Grant Programme.
Registered charity number: 1160989