Sheffield charity becomes much needed foodbank during Covid-19 crisis

The well-being service, which was forced to stop their in-person support when lockdown was enforced, decided to turn their premises into a foodbank to help vulnerable people in need.

Thursday, 28th May 2020, 10:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th May 2020, 10:34 pm

Health and well-being charity, Ship Shape has rebranded to become a community hub during the coronavirus pandemic to help those struggling to make ends meet access vital resources.

The Nether Edge based organisation which usually provides in-person support to isolated and vulnerable people has turned its Sharrow Lane premises into an emergency foodbank.

Ship Shape, who have worked alongside the Trussell Trust, Voluntary Action Sheffield and Sheffield City Council to establish themselves as a temporary community hub during the Covid-19 pandemic, are working to deliver food to those in need across the city.

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Ship Shape CEO Tanya Basharat.

The 13-year-old charity has given out over 300 free food parcels a week since they established themselves as an emergency foodbank at the start of April – reaching 1,000 people in Sheffield.

Ship Shape CEO Tanya Basharat explained how the food parcels has helped those who have been adversely affected by the crisis.

"People have said that we've been a lifeline for them and that they don't know what they would have done”, she said.

"We've seen families that have really struggled without food for nearly two weeks but did not feel they could access a foodbank because in their mind it should be going to someone else who is more in need.

Volunteers at the newly formed community hub help deliver food parcels.

"People were just really grateful and saying how having something so local has really had an impact and put food on the table for someone who would not have had food otherwise.”

The organisation has appealed for the public to donate non-perishable, tinned food such as cereals, lentils and pasta to the community hub.

Tanya shared how difficult it has been for parents in particular, who have seen their weekly food bills skyrocket with children studying from home.

“Parents are really struggling with having children off at home, people are getting themselves into debt and losing their jobs.

The emergency food bank has delivered 300 food parcels a week during lockdown.

"We have individuals who have moved in with family members to support them as they are vulnerable and that's kind of extended the family and there isn't enough resources coming into the household.”