MEMBERS of the team at Southport Foodbank say that they have been helping the self-employed and newly-unemployed who have been left ‘virtually destitute’ by the lockdown.
Richard Owens, chief executive at Compassion Acts who operate Southport Foodbank, said that they have been helped by members of the community, who responded to their emergency appeal for donations. He appealed for financial donations, hand sanitisers, gloves and ‘sturdy’ bags.
He said: “I am so proud of our team running Foodbank and Food Pantry sessions in the first week of lockdown in extraordinary circumstances. Some 100 vouchers were processed, including newly-unemployed and those in self-employment who are virtually destitute.
“However, I’d like to remind our voucher holders that this provision is for emergency food aid, according to Trussell criteria, and not for those who are housebound. Food donations from the public are intended for the most vulnerable and economically challenged and that is what we’ll continue. We will signpost others to the Sefton Council scheme for home deliveries and outreach to those in self isolation at home.”
The Food Pantry at Bishop David Shepherd Primary School in High Park, and at Grace Church in the town centre, continued to serve members, despite the challenges, including 10 new families identified by partners in Social Services.
Richard continued: “Our Welfare Benefits Advisers are continuing to work hard to assist people by telephone. But we are now most concerned at what will come our way in the months ahead – and that is why we are now appealing for more regular monthly givers.
“We’re also desperate for hand sanitisers and sturdy bags, if anyone can help out in bulk. Thanks last week to Ainsdale Coop for bags and Bloom Care for gloves, but we need more of these items to continue to operate effectively.”
Foodbank distribution sessions have been streamlined and are will all be held from 1-3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Lakeside Church and Tuesdays and Thursdays at Ainsdale Methodist Church.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to help with the items, or message Southport Foodbank on Facebook. To set up standing order, the details are: Compassion Acts (registered charity 1172948) at HSBC Bank, Lord Street. Southport. Sort code: 40-42-30, Account Number: 52071665.