Assessing the impact of Coronavirus
By Tottenham Foodbank
Tottenham Foodbank and Community Food Hub are continuing to support our vulnerable and needy neighbours, but austerity and COVID-19 are causing a huge surge in the number of local people struggling to put food on
A You Gov poll released last month found that 1.5million Britons reported not eating for a whole day because they had no money or access to food. People using Tottenham Foodbank increased by 100% during March, with many more enquiries about registering to access the service. We expect dependence on foodbanks to grow as the impacts of the deepest economic downturn of our lifetime’s bites further. Donations are up, but they’re nowhere near enough to help our most vulnerable neighbours right now.
Poor households spend much more of their limited income on necessities, making them vulnerable to spending shocks like lost employment. In contrast, those who are better off and working from home are saving money because they’re doing less discretionary spending.
Low income households are less likely to have large supplies of food at home, so they’re having to leave home more often to shop for (and find) essentials. Some are putting themselves at risk to buy food when they need to be self-isolating. Those of us who earn more have been able to afford to stock up, so we can stay home and stay safe.
We expect an increase in homelessness for renters who’ve had earning shocks, once restrictions on evictions are lifted. Homeowners needing to restructure their finances have been able to apply for mortgage holidays, but renters have not been able to do this.
Low paid workers are less likely to have jobs where they can work from home, so if they’re still working – they’ll be more likely to come into contact with COVID-19. Lower paid workers are less likely to have other forms of income or savings to cover their bills or rent, so they simply can’t afford to self-isolate.
Within these groups there are: single parents struggling to feed and entertain kids off school in cramped accommodation, members of the LGBTQ+ community without ways to escape unsupportive family set-ups, and women and men dealing with domestic violence.
Foodbank manager, Tonye Philemon said: “Precariously-employed locals who saw their work fall away overnight need our service the most, and low-earners who are unable to work because they’ve caught the virus.
“Both of these groups have no savings to fall back on. With lost incomes and bills looming, people are making choices about whether they can afford to eat too, especially if they have kids to feed.
“COVID-19 is no ‘great leveller’ – sadly, this crisis is exposing the inequalities in our neighbourhood. Many of our donors have told us they’ve been lucky enough to continue working from home and are spending much less on discretionary purchases right now, so they’re able to give generously to causes that are close to their hearts.
“We’re seeing people across Tottenham pull together to help each other out, which is wonderful. No one in Tottenham should be going to bed hungry.”
If you can donate funds to help with the running costs of the foodbank:
You can stay safe, stay at home and still donate food online:
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