Wandsworth Foodbank appeals for hand sanitizer in grip of coronavirus epidemic

By Sian Bayley, Local Democracy Reporter

Wandsworth Foodbank has asked people to consider donating hand sanitiser to help people who need it during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sarah Chapman, a volunteer and trustee at Wandsworth Foodbank, said: “We’d love to be able to give out hand sanitiser to guests, but it’s hard to come by – so if anyone or any businesses want to donate, that would be great.

“We know many of the groups we often support, including low-paid workers on zero hours contracts and people with long-term health problems, could be hardest hit by coronavirus, plus anyone waiting five weeks for first Universal Credit payment.

“We’ll do all we can, but we’d urge local and national government to ensure our benefits system is the life raft an increasing number of people will need, and need now.”

She added that food donations are “slowing slightly,” but they still have good reserves from people’s Christmas generosity.

Ms Champman added: “We’re encouraging people to check what food donations we most need, which are updated weekly on our website. Financial donations are also always welcome.”

Further south in Balham, the charity Little Village, which operates like a food bank for baby clothes, said it had also noticed downturn in donations.

Programmes manager Rebecca Wilson said: “We know that many of the families we support are in vulnerable situations, and any impact on family income due to businesses shutting temporarily, or being self-employed and losing work, could be enough to tip families who were just coping into crisis.

“In addition, the families we support don’t have the resources to stockpile, and are dependent on being able to pick up shopping as and when they have income.

“With supplies of essential items in supermarkets currently in short supply, we believe many of our families will struggle to get the essential items they need.

“There is a chance we’ll be asked to close in line with schools and community groups at some point in the near future, but until then we’d really like to encourage people to continue to donate, and particularly to include essentials such as nappies, wipes, and toiletries.”

To donate to Wandsworth Foodbank click here.

To donate to Little Village visit their website here.

Pictured top: Wandsworth Foodbank manager Dan Frith with trustee and volunteer Sarah Chapman

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