It goes without saying that over the last year the impact of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns have hit a lot of people very hard; and the need to support those less well-off has never been so urgent.
To try and help those who have been hit hardest by COVID-19 in our local communities, we decided that the money the company would normally allocate for buying weekly fresh fruit for our employees, would be donated to local food banks.
Foodbanks have seen a large increase in people needing their services over the last 12 months, many of whom never imagined that they would be in this position. Between 1st April - 30th September 2020, 1.2 million emergency food parcels were given to people in crisis by Trussell Trust food banks, with 2,600 parcels given to children every day in the first six months of the pandemic in the UK.
That's why we're donating £500 a month to foodbanks in our local communities.
We’re absolutely delighted that Sutton Group Holdings wanted to match our commitments, totaling our donations to £1,000 each month.
"In 2019, we provided food to 2,952 people, in 2020 this increased to 5,380. Around 2 in every 5 people come to us because their benefits have been stopped or delayed. When someone signs up for Universal Credit, there is a 5 week wait until this begins. Others may simply be struggling on such a low income that they have to make decisions such as do I heat the house or feed the children?"
Caroline, Richmond Foodbank Manager
“Since the beginning of April 2020 Feltham Food Bank has been working in partnership with Feltham Salvation Army, Christ Church Feltham, Riverside Vineyard Storehouse and Reach Academy to provide an Emergency Covid-19 Response to help local families with food. Jointly, we help between 110 and 130 local families every week.”
John Calvert, Trustee and Treasurer
Over the past five months the Food Bank has responded to over 420 requests for help, supplying over 600 crates of food and provided food vouchers to a further 424 to families and individuals in crisis in the local area.
It's clear that the impact they are having on our local area, helping people experiencing challenges due to the financial effects of the pandemic, is vital to so many.