A VEGAN foodbank is appealing for donations after seeing an increase in demand due to coronavirus.
Vegan Foodbank North East, based in Teesside but catering to the whole of the region, has seen an increase in demand following the coronavirus outbreak, but is unable to buy extra supplies due to limited product purchases, is now appealing for food donations that can be sent out.
Hannah Williams founded the foodbank with mum Judy after a friend was struggling to eat.
The 24-year-old said: “We are trying our best but there comes a point where we can’t help everyone. There are waiting lists, and we are cutting back on the amount of days we can provide food for. Before it may have been five or six, while now it’s three or four.
“The Trussell Trust doesn’t really do anything specific like this, they can put together vegan or vegetarian packages but it depends on what they have in.
“But just because you’re struggling with finances, doesn’t mean you need to with your ethics.”
The coronavirus outbreak has meant the foodbank, ran as a side project from Ms Williams’ home, is in greater demand and is also stretching itself geographically.
“If me or mum can’t get there by car, we do try and post it because if you need to eat then you need to eat,” Ms Williams said, while urging people to “remember how needed foodbanks are in a time of crisis”.
“Even people who don’t have financial worries have a real anxiety about food right now. There are more and more people that need to be supported by foodbanks.
“Local people are trying to feed the nation.”
While Vegan Foodbank North East has a processes whereby people looking for support can disclosure what benefits they get, as per other foodbanks, it “tries not to have a cut off” and “just care that you get food if you need it”.
Packages do not necessarily include meat or dairy alternatives but rather tins of beans and lentils, as well as pastas and rice.
However, Ms Williams has also launched a Go Fund Me campaign, hoping to raise around £1,000, to help with resources, such as the cost of fuel to drop packages off.
It reads: “We run entirely on donations and our volunteers are often left putting their hand in their own pockets to be be able to give the support we need to give.”
To support the foodbank, search Vegan Foodbank North East England on Facebook.