A couple of days into lockdown I reached out to the local foodbank in Wimbledon, the story they told me was one that would be repeated across the whole country in the coming weeks. Lockdown was a triple whammy for foodbanks. A reduction in food donations as less people are in shops, a reduction in volunteers as their core volunteers were shielding, and the largest surge in demand they had ever seen.
They don’t normally need funding of this type, but in the absence of food donations they had to resort to buying food to make up the shortfalls.
The Wimbledon Foodbank crowdfunding project went up, we pushed out onto local facebook pages and they pushed out on email and the response was immediate and resounding. They raised over £20,000 from over 300 supporters.
How one campaign quickly turned into many
We feared many foodbanks would be in a similar position, they were flat out delivering the service and hardly any had a fundraising person. We set about contacting the rest and ended up launching campaigns for over 100 foodbanks and raising over £250K, including £60K for the Trussell Trust themselves.
Those days of daily briefings were full of anxiety, speaking to foodbank after foodbank whilst working from my bedroom became a welcome distraction and way of channeling that nervous energy into something productive.
Time after time I would speak to those running foodbanks and be absolutely inspired by their hard work and resourcefulness. In the scariest of times they were the rock that local communities were relying on.
Crowdfunder removed all its fees for covid response and even covered the transaction charges, a move that will forever be remembered by those that ran campaigns in those first weeks.
Foodbanks are an essential service that we all wish didn’t have to exist, but given the current need, I’m glad they do.