Many of the Foodbanks in the Diocese of York, hosted in local churches are part of the Trussell Trust, and they have issued the following guidance:
"The latest government advice explains food banks can legally continue operating and buildings that host food banks can continue to open for those sessions, provided we follow social distancing rules, because your work qualifies you as key workers ‘caring for the vulnerable’. We have provided all food banks in our network with a letter for workers, to explain their role so it is clear why they’re leaving the house.
"Social distancing rules means making sure volunteers who are classed as ‘at risk’ because they are over 70 or have a health condition stay at home. It means making sure there are hand-washing facilities in any centre people are in, and everyone is encouraged to wash their hands. It also means making big changes to the way centres work, to limit contact between people. This will look different in different centres, but it might mean:
- Instead of being invited into a centre, people referred are immediately given a pre-packed food bank parcel in a practical, dignified and compassionate manner
- Ensuring that wherever people are waiting, there is a large enough space for people to wait at least two metres apart
- A reduced number of food bank sessions per week
- Coordination with local agencies to give them pre-packed food bank parcels, or to deliver to people those agencies work with
"There are Trussell Trust Foodbanks in Hull, East Yorkshire, York, Selby, Ryedale, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland, plus a number of independent foodbanks.
"Foodbank staff and volunteers are extremely busy trying to respond to increased demand in challenging circumstances, please check what help they need, you can find your local foodbank by searching at www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank.
"We are all asked only to go out for essential journeys, so you may consider doing an online shop to be delivered to a foodbank depot; alternatively you could drop food off when you are out shopping.
"PLEASE check with your foodbank first, to find out what they need and when they are open, and follow all the social distancing and good hygiene guidelines, and if you are unable to get food to your local foodbank, financial donations are always welcome so they may buy items they are short of."