CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Coronavirus: Euston Foodbank under ‘intense’ strain after weekend panic-buying

Volunteers appeal for milk donations

16 March, 2020 — By Tom Foot

Paper bags are being used instead of plastic bags 

VOLUNTEERS at Euston Foodbank are appealing for milk donations after being hit by the supermarket panic-buying over the weekend.

The donation centre in Lancing Street, which provides three days emergency food to Camden residents in crisis, said it was facing “intense” demand due to the run on food.

Long life milk is hard to find and there are significant delays to supermarket online delivery service.

Dorothea Hackman, who helps run the service, said: “I buy every week 100 litres of UHT milk for the foodbank – it’s roughly one hundred pounds worth. I went back on the weekend, and there is none on the shelves. I tried to do the online order at Morrison’s, but there is no delivery for a fortnight. I appeal to all readers who happens to have brought 20 litres, could they give me half?”

She added: “A lot of people who are on street don’t want tins and all that kind of stuff. They want a packet of Cornflakes and a packet of milk. There is going to be enough food for everybody, but please if you have milk we really need it now.”

Ms Hackman said she had been monitoring the coronavirus since back in November and said the world was “moving into a world of water shortages and climate emergency”.

Supermarket giants put out a plea to shoppers not to stockpile after a run on shelves over the weekend. Supplies of food and essentials will remain available, a joint letter said.

A bulletin from the Foodbank’s trustees said the service was being run pretty much as usual on Monday. It said: “We aim to have a volunteer on the door restricting the number of clients at any one time so it doesn’t become too crowded and distance can be maintained between people.

“Volunteers are using hand sanitizer between clients. We need volunteer drivers to collect and deliver food. Although four volunteers are resting due to health or work demands, the Foodbank is currently still sufficiently staffed.

“We are using paper bags rather than plastic for bakery and vegetables, and biodegradable and recycled carry bags for people who forget to bring their own bags.

“The supermarkets have no UHT milk on the shelves, due to panic buying and for online ordering Milk is a real problem. Euston Foodbank often has to buy up to 100 litres of milk a week as we get very little donated.”

Euston Foodbank is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks supported by The Trussell Trust that is working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

To contact the Foodbank contact 07400053838 or info@euston.foodbank.org.uk

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