Rugby foodbank is closing temporarily
Due to the outbreak and rapid escalation of the coronavirus pandemic, the directors of Rugby Foodbank have taken the very difficult decision to close to the public after Wednesday 25th March. This is not a decision we have taken lightly and after much consideration, we feel this is the best course of action for several reasons:
- The health and safety of our volunteers and clients is our very highest priority, and we feel that this is the best way to minimise the risk of infection, as the new building we that our food bank operates out of, that we only moved into on 15th March, makes social distancing extremely difficult, as it has small rooms and narrow corridors.
- We need a minimum number of volunteers at each session to operate safely. Increasing numbers are self-isolating and this is set to increase further if restrictions on over-70s come in, as many of our volunteers are retired. We have had many offers of help, but as mentioned the building is difficult to operate out of and new volunteers need training, which we are not in a position to do given the impact that the rapid escalation of coronavirus has had on our staffing levels.
- Our food supplies are running low, with donations down but we know Trussell Trust and supermarkets are working to ensure foodbanks can get access to food supplies.
- We have also had to take into account that the provision of food to those in need is something that, in the current situation, the government and larger and better-resourced organisations – like the large supermarkets – are better-placed to do safely than we are until the situation subsides.
The food bank will be open on Wednesday 25th March, 12-3pm where prepacked bags of food will be given to clients. We will monitor the situation closely as it unfolds and will re-open as soon as we feel it is safe to do so.
We are communicating to all of our clients and voucher partners now. We believe that it is preferable to close now than increase risks for all concerned.
However, we are in detailed discussions with Rugby Borough Council who are seeking to put in some emergency scaled back council run service shortly. This will include support from the foodbank and utilising the food donations we have in the warehouse. More details will follow in the coming days.
We are very grateful for all the amazing support we have received from the community – food donations, volunteers time and also financially. We will reopen as soon as it is safe to continue running our community service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the whole community and country at such unprecedented times.