By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter
A fundraising appeal for food banks in Lambeth raised £10,000 in three days.
Will Straw, who launched the GoFundMe page, said the response has been “absolutely astonishing”.
He said: “It shows the generosity in our community at such a difficult time.
“But the need for food banks is sadly going to increase so we want to keep raising funds.
“We’d urge everyone to give what they can, and to share the links with their friends, family, neighbours and colleagues.
“We’re also calling on local businesses to contribute if they are able to do so.
“This awful virus is testing all of us, but by coming together as a community we can at least try to help those most vulnerable.”
The appeal at the time of writing had raised more than £11,000. The money will go to the four food banks in the borough.
A spokesman for Vauxhall Foodbank said they were “very grateful” for the appeal.
The centre is currently running low on UHT milk, tinned meat, rice pudding, sponge pudding, baked beans, and tinned tomatoes if anyone would like to donate those items.
Lambeth council has expanded its crowdfunding support during the Covid-19 pandemic, adding an extra £170,000 to the match funding pot.
The council’s Lambeth Crowdfund will match funding raised up to £5,000 for community projects.
“During this time of crisis, Lambeth council is expanding the Crowdfund Lambeth criteria for applications to ensure that our most vulnerable communities have the help they need.
“This funding aims to resource a range of groups, including local food banks and those working to strengthen food supply and plan to mitigate anticipated challenges,” according to the council.
Waterloo Foodbank launched an appeal in the wake of the expansion and said it is experiencing a “a huge surge in demand”.
“While some are stocking up on supplies, the thousands of people who access our food bank each year don’t have this luxury.
“We are struggling to keep up with demand and receiving fewer donations, while essential food items such as pasta and loo rolls are flying off our supermarket shelves.
“At Waterloo Foodbank, we supported over 300 people last week alone – we usually support 350 people a month, in normal circumstances.
“We need your help to keep our services running.
“We anticipate providing food to hundreds more people in the coming weeks, and increasingly will have to provide a delivery service to the vulnerable and those self-isolating. This will come at increased cost to us.
“At a time of social distancing, this is the easiest way for you to support those in need.
“Help us with our Crowdfunder so we can ensure no-one in our local community goes hungry at this time of crisis,” the appeal read.
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.