Help Scarborough's food banks support the most vulnerable through the coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus pandemic has changed every aspect of our society, and food banks are no exception.

Thursday, 9th April 2020, 11:17 am
Updated Thursday, 9th April 2020, 11:18 am

They are facing increased pressure as more people stay at home and less donations come in to them, whilst demand for their services continues to rise.

The Rainbow Centre on Castle Road, The Salvation Army on Alma Parade and Westway Open Arms in Eastfield all provide food banks but have faced struggles to carry on giving food to people since coronavirus began.

They are appealing to any Scarborough residents who may have spare food in their homes to donate them to their nearest foodbank and help those in need.

Trish Kinsella at The Rainbow Centre.

Trish Kinsella, from The Rainbow Centre, said: “We need food. We’re running out of tins and packets and can’t get any deliveries from supermarkets now that they’re restricting deliveries.”

The Salvation Army’s Major Stephen Noble said: “We will support anyone who comes to us who are in isolation and struggling to get food. We’re giving food parcels out in the community.”

All three organisations have had to change how they operate during the pandemic to allow for social distancing and are increasingly switching to delivering goods.

The Rev Sam Taylor, of Westway Open Arms, said: “We are working with the very vulnerable, there are some who can’t come out and who don’t have any money so we’ve been taking stuff out to them.

Sorting through supplies at The Rainbow Centre.

“Deliveries are not something we would normally do but at a time like this we’ll do whatever it takes.”

Sam said she had been encouraged that even during the crisis, the community have still been bringing in donations.

She said: “It is overwhelming that even at a time like this people have been putting food aside and bringing it in.”

Non-perishable goods are preferred by the foodbanks as they’re easier to keep and tinned meat and fish are always needed as they help families create a meal.

Reverend Sam Taylor with some of the food donations at the Westway Open Arms. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

The foodbanks are also being supported by the Morrisons store at Eastfield.

Each Monday the store receives a delivery of £1,000 worth of ambient goods which is shared between the three organisations.

Whilst the store’s cafe is closed it has been transformed into a food donation hub and announcements encourgaing shoppers to donate are played every half and hour.

Ellie Waite, community champion for the stores, said: “We want to integrate into the community and help. We’re doing everything we can to keep [the food banks] going.”

Scarborough's Salvation Army HQ - Major Steve Noble and Captain Angela Noble with volunteers and the food bank collection. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter