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Coronavirus: Islington Food Bank set to close due to dwindling donations and risk of passing on Covid-19

PUBLISHED: 14:47 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:20 16 March 2020

Cllr Troy Gallagher and Kathy Weston from Islington Food Bank outside Islington Town Hall. Picture: Islington Council

Cllr Troy Gallagher and Kathy Weston from Islington Food Bank outside Islington Town Hall. Picture: Islington Council

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Islington Food Bank is set to close “until further notice” from Monday next week due to dwindling supplies and a shortage of volunteers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The food bank run from the Highbury Roundhouse in Ronalds Road will is open today and is also due to run on Saturday, and on Moday next week.

A message posted to the food bank’s website states: “Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the trustees of Islington Foodbank have taken the difficult decision to close to the public after [March 23]. We understand that we provide a service to vulnerable people who may need us more now than ever, but still feel this is the best course of action for several reasons:

“The health and safety of our volunteers and clients is our top priority, and we feel this is the best way to minimise the risk of infection.

Our food supplies are running low, with donations down and supermarkets limiting how much we can order, meaning that soon we will not be able to give our clients full food bags.

“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.”

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The food bank will reopen as soon as its trustees feel it’s safe to do so, and service users have been informed of its imminent closure.

Islington Food Banks will not be able to accept donations and has urged people to utilise collection points at supermarkets.

On Monday next week the food bank is also launching it’s online service, Bankuet, which allows people to order or donate food and toiletries.

Donations from the supermarket collections and via Bankuet will be held for Islington Food Bank until it reopens.

A spokesperson for Islington Food Bank added: “We know very well that the local community in Islington are very generous and will want to help their vulnerable neighbours during this difficult time so we will do what we can to signpost to other ways you can help while we are closed. Union Chapel is currently collecting hand sanitizers and soap for local homeless people, and this Facebook group has been created to coordinate support among those wanting to help others out.”

For coronavirus updates from across north London, click here.


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