With more and more people once again doing their ‘big shop’ in person, Wirral Foodbank is urging shoppers to consider putting a few additional items into their trolley to donate to those in need in the borough.
Wirral Foodbank has been – and continues to be – a key partner in the Emergency Food Hub operation set up by Wirral Council in conjunction with a range of community food providers to ensure the most vulnerable people receive supplies of a range of provisions during the current crisis.
The council has invested more than £750,000 on this operation and community providers have also significantly contributed to the effort, both in terms of donations and volunteer time.
One of these providers has been the Wirral Foodbank which, since it was set up at the end of March, has put its entire service into the Emergency Food Hub. The Foodbank alone has donated more than 45 tonnes of supplies into that centralised effort.
Such has been the demand for help with food during the crisis, the Foodbank is looking to remind people that it relies on donations – practical and financial – to ensure it can continue operating and, while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, contributing to the Emergency Food Hub.
Richard Roberts, manager of Wirral Foodbank, said: “Wirral Foodbank is committed to continuing to support the most vulnerable in our community and the generosity and support we receive from people and businesses in Wirral in helping us to do that has always been amazing – thank you.”
“Even though we are operating slightly differently right now as the whole borough comes together to keep our most vulnerable residents fed, we are continuing to welcome food donations through our supermarket collection points.
“Tinned food is particularly needed at the moment – peas, carrots, meat, fruit, fish, soup – and we are also looking for donations of long-life milk, such as UHT milk.”
The Foodbank has donation points at several of the larger supermarkets in Wirral, including Asda in Bromborough, Liscard, Arrowe Park and Birkenhead, Tesco in Bidston, Rock Ferry and Heswall, Sainsbury’s in Upton and the Co-op in Greasby.
While donations are still being taken to and sorted at Wirral Foodbank warehouse in Birkenhead, where use-by dates and other safety aspects are also checked, instead of being distributed from one of the 15 Foodbank centres across the borough, they are now being circulated through the central Emergency Food Hub while the crisis continues. All the checks on people’s eligibility for help are being managed centrally too, temporarily replacing the red food voucher system.
Richard added: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to our staff and those of our volunteers who are able to continue working; they are toiling tirelessly to ensure that food is available for the most vulnerable in our community. We have 45 of our volunteers, from the warehouse and distribution centres, now volunteering at the Emergency Food Hub.”
Mark Camborne, who is Wirral Council’s lead for the humanitarian response to the COVID-19 crisis in Wirral, said: “The Foodbank is one of our key partners in the excellent work being done by the Emergency Food Hub. We simply wouldn’t be providing such an exceptional level of support to our most vulnerable residents without their help; though the scale of this situation is unprecedented for us all, feeding people during a crisis is what they do, it’s what they’ve done for years.
“Having Wirral Foodbank and other community food providers and charities, and the social supermarkets, so embedded in this operation from the very early days of the pandemic has been central to what we’ve been able to achieve and is the reason why so many other local authorities have been using our model as the one to follow.”
“On top of the donations of food, we have been truly blessed by the generosity of individuals and businesses who make financial donations to Wirral Foodbank,” added Richard Roberts. “Such donations enable us to replenish our stocks of food as and when required, meaning we can provide the Hub with a balanced range of non-perishable, tinned and dried foods that are used to make up food parcels. The Wirral community never fails to deliver when it comes to looking out for one another.”
People who require emergency food support at this time can contact Wirral Emergency Food Hub by phone 0151 666 5050 or go online.