On the anniversary of the first lockdown, Glossopdale Foodbank chair Godfrey Claff has looked back on a year of social distancing and keeping everyone Covid-safe while making sure people were fed.
He said: “It was a huge task to reorganise the way we provided food for people in financial crisis.”
In the last 12 months, the number of families needing assistance from the food bank has rocketed, partly because people have been laid off work, made redundant, shielded or quarantined, but simply because of the numbers of people who just do not have sufficient income to put food on the table.
In total, more than 400 people made multiple visits to the foodbank and were provided with 72,000 meals to feed 4,700 adults and 3,300 children across the whole 12 months. This was almost twice as many as in the previous 12 months.
This increase in the number of meals provided would not have been possible if it had not been for an increase in the numbers of people volunteering to help the foodbank, which relies entirely on voluntary help to collect food, pack it and distribute it.
Currently the foodbank has 60 volunteers, over half of whom work there on a weekly basis.
Foodbank co-ordinator Charlotte Mendes-Kelly said: "We have had almost a doubling of our volunteers since the pandemic started, which has been essential, because our new COVID-safe system needs many more people than we used to need. Our volunteers have been just brilliant in answering the call for help.”
Mr Claff added: "The Glossopdale community has been magnificent this past year. Without their help through donations of food and finance, we just would not have been able to meet the demand.
"We have significant numbers of people in financial crisis in our community and the Glossopdale community has given a response that is nothing short of remarkable."
For more information about Glossopdale Foodbank, contact Charlotte Mendes-Kelly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07811 684282.
Two Glossopdale Foodbank volunteers, Angela and Rachel, ready to hand out parcels at Hadfield Children's Centre.