Sheffield foodbank calls for donations as it supports eight times more people since the start of Covid-19
A Sheffield foodbank said the number of people it supports has risen from 150 people a week at the beginning of Covid-19 to 1,200 people a week now and it expects this to increase further.
The S6 Foodbank went from supporting around 150 people a week from four sites a year ago to supporting 1,200 people a week from nine sites. Its main warehouse now processes around 13 tonnes of food a week, up from 1.7 tonnes a year ago with deliveries arriving on huge lorries and a warehouse stacked full, only to be empty again a week later.
It predicts numbers will increase further as furlough comes to an end and with changes to Universal Credit and the end of eviction bans hitting the most vulnerable.
It launched a fundraising campaign to help it to continue supporting those in need and is aiming to provide a million meals to people across the city over the year. So far it has raised £32,761 from 627 donations.
In a statement, the foodbank said: “Time and again, the people and businesses of Sheffield have stepped up to donate to us and support others in need. Our heartbeat as a foodbank has always been people donating to others they will never meet. We cannot say thank you enough to everyone who donates food or cash to us. Please know how much we appreciate your support.
“We still firmly believe that nobody in Sheffield should have to face going hungry. That’s why we are asking you to continue supporting us in 2021. Cash donations help us to buy in bulk in a targeted way.”
It said £27 provides food and basic essentials for a family of three for three days.
The foodbank said it will be holding fun events throughout the year to encourage people to get involved in their campaign and people can keep up to date via their social media @s6foodbank.
To donate, visit https://justgiving.com/campaign/forallsheffield
Other foodbanks in the city had seen similar increases during Covid-19.
A cross-party working group was set up to consider the extent, impact and experience of food poverty in Sheffield, the current support in place and review Sheffield Council’s response.
A report on this work presented to Sheffield Council earlier this year said it considered data collected by Voluntary Action Sheffield from 19 food banks between April 13 and June 8 last year. It showed the number of households using the foodbanks increased by more than 92 percent, from 1,144 to 2,202, during that time.
The working group said even this only showed supply and not level of need, which could be much higher.
In May last year, Spires Foodbank, in Arbourthorne, said it used to serve around 30 people a week and this rocketed to more than 360 people a week.
S2 Foodbank said it fed 1,970 people in April, 2020, along with 15 tonnes of food compared to a total of 1,021 people and seven tonnes of food across the whole of January, February and March 2020.
You can find information on locations and opening hours of foodbanks around Sheffield here: https://sheffields6.foodbank.org.uk/locations/