STRATFORD Foodbank will be closed for one week to allow the charity to adapt to social distancing rules.
While the charity has received many offers of help, it may need to change the way it receives donations and carries out food collections.
Manager Marion Homer said: “We’ve had to halt our food collections team this week although we fully expect to restart our collections programme next week. We know that many people want to help so we are starting a cash fund-raiser. Cash donations will allow us to consider all options as we meet the challenges of this current national emergency.”
She added the economic effects of the coronavirus could mean a further increase in demand for the service. As such the charity is currently asking for cash donations rather than food, and so far has had a positive response. A birthday Facebook fund-raiser set up by Marion at the weekend raised over £10,00 in 24 hours.
At present the foodbank has enough food donations to last at least three weeks but if the crisis continues, supplies may need to be purchased.
Marion added: “The key thing for us is to be able to keep adapting our service, we may need to move food parcels and food across the local area, we may need to set up mini distribution points in other locations or we may stay exactly as we are.
“Every day we are facing new challenges and solving problems. One thing we do know is that we will need to be flexible and creative in how we meet the challenges of this new situation.
“We are in uncertain and worrying times; no one knows what the future will look like. One thing I do know for sure is that the foodbank is in this for the long haul. We are working closely with many local partners including all councils, churches, schools and businesses and we often find ourselves playing a pivotal role ensuring support to those in crisis can be maintained.
“Our volunteers are working bravely and selflessly to adapt our operation, whilst ensuring we still adhere to all government guidelines – and we are getting top quality daily support from the Trussell Trust. Many people will be feeling powerless but if I can give you a glimmer of hope I see daily evidence that this town has the most amazing community – every day I am blown away by the generosity and kindness shown to us and the willingness of people to help each other.
“We will get through this together. You can help the foodbank play its part confidently in the current crisis by donating money or offering to volunteer.”
Those who want to volunteer can email firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on a holding list.
Visit www.justgiving.com/stratforduponavon-foodbank to make a donation.