STRATFORD Foodbank has received vital funding from housing association Orbit.
Government guidelines regarding social distancing meant the foodbank’s former premises at Tesco were no longer fit for purpose.
A temporary home at the Stratford Methodist Church has been found but with it came extra cleaning, PPE, technology and moving costs, which the foodbank was struggling to find.
The housing association donated £1,500 towards the foodbank’s move to ensure it can operate safety during the coronavirus outbreak and is in addition to the £1,600 previously granted for a storage food container for the charity.
Foodbank manager Marion Homer said “In order to follow the Government guidelines for health and safety in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the foodbank has had to move premises.
“It was no longer possible to operate from our usual portacabin which previously housed our warehouse and client distribution area as we were unable to maintain the necessary social distancing of two metres between volunteers.
“Nor was there any running water for hand washing and surface cleaning. We have found a temporary home at the Stratford Methodist Church, but the move has incurred substantial, unexpected costs to our charity. Further costs are expected in the coming weeks and months to enable us to work efficiently and safely at the church.”
The foodbank also needs to invest in new technology so that it can move to an e-referral system where communication can be carried out online to maintain social distancing with its customers.
Marion added: “We are so grateful to Orbit for supporting these costs and for arranging its donation to get to us so quickly. With everything that is going in, it is one less thing to worry about. Now we can focus on what we are here for – providing food to those in Stratford who need it most.”
Paul Richards, Orbit group customer services director, said: “When we heard about the foodbank’s plight, we were more than happy to help as we know this will benefit our customers and the wider community in Stratford.”