31 March 2020

Food banks need our help

Amelia Trew - Welfare, Community and Diversity Officer at uea(su) - has been helping to support some of the most vulnerable people in Norfolk by finding ways to raise food bank donations on campus. 

people looking at food in a bag

The COVID-19 crisis is really bringing out the best of our communities. So many people are displaying acts of selflessness and offering a helping hand. I’ve seen hundreds of people offer support via the Norwich Here to Help or Voluntary Norfolk groups and I have so much respect for our student nurses, doctors and others answering the call to help tackle the spread of coronavirus on the frontline. 

I’m technically classed as at-risk because of my asthma, which limits what I can do. But I really wanted to lend my support and I’m doing my best to help some of the most vulnerable people in the local community. 

After seeing images on social media of people stockpiling food it became apparent that this crisis was going to have a huge impact on those who really rely on food banks. People are buying more, but donating less, which means that those who rely on food banks are receiving fewer items. I’m concerned that the people in need are being overlooked by those who have the ability to help most, so I’m encouraging more people to donate non-perishable food or resources when and where they can. 

That said, one of the best ways to support your local community at the moment to is stay at home and only go out for essentials. Donating at the shop(su) on campus has therefore become much more difficult. So we’re in the process of setting up a GoFundMe page, which will allow people to donate money that can then be spent on supplies. Please watch this space!

Though I’m sad that this is something we have to do in the first place, the response to our call-out so far, and seeing how many people care about this issue, has been truly amazing.  

Remember: stay safe, continue to wash your hands for 20 seconds and if you have stockpiled and realised you didn’t need so much please consider donating it to a food bank! Please send me an email if you’d like to donate or find out more.  

Do you have a story to share? Please email communications@uea.ac.uk