East Worthing residents set up temporary foodbank during coronavirus crisis

Residents of East Worthing have set up a temporary foodbank in another remarkable display of community spirit in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

East Worthing Covid Support was a group set up to support local residents who were self-isolating, by providing essential food and medication deliveries.

The team of around 200 volunteers has already delivered care packages to hundreds of local families in the three weeks since a nationwide lockdown was announced.

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Now the group has gone a step further and set up a temporary foodbank for residents struggling to get by in these testing times.

Carl Walker

Operating out of the East Worthing Baptist Church in Pendine Avenue, people can make donations on Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 9am and 11am outside the front of the church.

Parcels will then be made up by the volunteers and delivered to people who have self-referred to the service.

Local East Worthing councillors are helping to lead the group with Carl Walker, Margaret Howard and Mike Barrett helping to run both the resident delivery service and the temporary foodbank.

Carl said: “Food banks across the country are seeing a 300 per cent increase in footfall compared to last year and many are still struggling to source enough appropriate food. We were hearing from local people who were struggling to afford food and so we decided to act to support them. Since we have started to advertise, we’ve already had numerous calls from desperate local residents over the Easter weekend.”

Margaret Howard

A crowdfunder launched for funds to buy food hit its targed in under 24 hours and almost £2,000 has already been raised in under a week.

"The generosity of local people in these difficult times has been really heartening to see. It’s meant that people, who would otherwise go hungry, are now accessing food," Carl added.

Councillor Howard said she was concerned that the closure of Community House in Dominion Road, which operated as a community space and social hub before the coronavirus shutdown, would combine with redundancies to put unmanageable strain on vulnerable people. She said she hoped the foodbank could help to fill that gap.

You can self-refer to receive food from the foodbank through 01903 442149 or email [email protected]

Business owner Caroline Baxter helped set up the project