Britain’s food banks prepare for surge in demand as millions lose their jobs
LONDON Before the box from the healthy food border received, Natasha Cartey had just a half bag of choice of rice and a wash tub of fat. She was wondering when her next food will be.
Cartey lives in sociable apartments in Newham, considered one of London’s vilest boroughs, and attains government advantages. She is worried you’ll have movements if quite a few people are stuck in their home for much longer.
“The country might end up coming to a standstill,” she let it be known. “How are people meant to bring up their kids or survive or pay the bills or earn income?
“Protests and riots can and is going to get out of control,” she said, comparing the situation to the England riots of 2011.
Britain is in its second week of coronavirus lockdown, with strict social distancing measures in place. As shops and businesses close, millions of people have lost their income.
As the country faces its biggest crisis since World War Two, food banks which normally serve meals in their premises have closed so food distribution charities are left to deliver food parcels to people’s doors.
One in 20 people in the UK had already lost their job due to coronavirus when YouGov conducted a poll a week ago and applications for Universal Credit – the government benefits system – are sky high, with nearly half a million claims last week.
Suman Uththamaputhir used to work for betting shop Paddy Power before it closed.
“Really I’m finding it hard in the meanwhile,” he said. “I’ve got a great deal of friends or family … everyone else’s do the something similar, everybody’s striving.”
Cartey and Uththamaputhir both received food parcels from the Docklands Settlements community centre in East London, which has been asked by the council to expand its operations to prepare for the influx of demand.
“I think that with age there’s going to be much more ones that are intending to have to have a lot more snacks,” said Sam White, the community centre’s manager.
Use of food banks in Britain has surged in recent years. The amount of food distributed by the Trussell Trust, which runs around 1,200 of the country’s 2,000 food banks, has risen 73% in the past five years.
For many, the government’s financial aid will be too little, too late.
The country’s 5 million self-employed will not hear if they are eligible for money until June, and although the government has said it will fund 80% of employees’ wages if their company keeps them on, there is nothing to make an employer apply for this.
“As we’ve grown going out and we are fulfilling the foods it’s possible to experience desolation using some families,” White said.
“And the country is only getting worse with age,” she added.