Working with the Trussell Trust through COVID-19
COVID 19 changed the way we live our lives and families across the UK faced challenges with many having to turn to foodbanks for the first time to survive. Families with children were the hardest hit with almost 100,000 households in the UK receiving support from a foodbank for the first time between April and June 2020. In fact half of people who used a foodbank in this period had never needed one before. However, with the demand for foodbanks greater than ever the foodbanks themselves faced their own challenges to survive with a reduction in donations and fundraising coupled with the difficulties faced in ensuring their volunteers were kept safe and the costs incurred ensuring social distancing and government guidelines were met.
What did we do?
Ferrovial set up the “Ferrovial Together COVID-19” fund in 2020 with an initial endowment of £4.5m from the company. The fund has raised an additional £7.8m through contributions by Ferrovial, its employees and third parties. The fund focussed on the procurement of healthcare materials and medical equipment, research into pharmacological solutions and donating funds to help vulnerable groups and those at risk of exclusion as a result of the current health crisis.
In the UK, working in partnership with Amey, the fund donated over £900,000 to charities including £270,000 to the country’s largest foodbank charity, the Trussell Trust. The Trussell Trust was highlighted as a charity at the front line of the fight against Covid 19 by Amey and 12 local foodbanks across the UK were identified with each receiving £19,000 each to go towards food and support for vulnerable people in the local community. Trussell Trust’s head Office also received a donation of £40,000.
What was the impact?
The money donated helped the foodbanks to continue to support more people in their communities at a time when the demand for support and food parcels skyrocketed. During the start of the pandemic around half of people who used a food bank had never needed one before. In April there was an 89% increase in the number of emergency food parcels given out compared with the same month in 2019. This included a 107% increase in the number of parcels given to children, compared to the same period last year.
The foodbanks continued to deliver a minimum of three days emergency food parcel to those in need; they also provided non-food items such as toiletries, household items, feminine products and baby supplies. A typical food parcel along with non-food essentials will cost c£50 for a family of four per week.
The Leeds foodbank used the money to meet the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by enlarging their capacity for food provision and distribution by securing new, larger premises. This larger premises enabled the foodbank to double their capacity and give them the ability to provide more people in need with food provisions. The larger premises also enabled volunteers more office space. In Vauxhall, the donation was used to purchase food to feed over 400 people.
“A big thankyou to Ferrovial Amey for their generous donation to the Aston & Nechells Foodbank. It was a huge moral boost arriving when we were the under high pressure from exceptional demand due to COVID-19. This money will help many in food poverty living in one of the most deprived areas in the country.” Rosemary Cripps, Aston & Nechells Foodbank coordinator
"North Bristol Foodbank are so grateful for this extremely generous donation from Amey and Ferrovial. Since lockdown began our foodbank has experienced a 230% increase in foodbank use. As a result of the generous donation we have received, North Bristol Foodbank have been able to meet this increase in demand. We have been able to support the huge numbers of people in our community who are experiencing food poverty. Thank you Amey and Ferrovial for your generosity." Matt Dobson, Foodbank Manager, North Bristol
“West Belfast Foodbank has been overwhelmed with the generous donation of £19,164.56p from the Ferovial and Amey.This money will help us so much as the impact of the Covid19 outbreak will be felt for the next couple of years. We have gone from 2 two-hour sessions to deliveries sometimes 7 days a week. The added administration and pressure on all of us has been high. These funds will help us meet those demands, pay for our running costs of our van and much more. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you.” Tony Meehan, West Belfast Foodbank
“With a World where lives have been devastated byCovid19. We look for a bright light as a source of hope. That glimmer of hope has come from Ferrovial and Amey ensuring that no one will go hungry and no child will be disadvantaged by this terrible disease.” Jim Cooper, Falkirk Foodbank
"At Vauxhall Foodbank we are thrilled to have benefited from the Ferrovial Together COVID-19 Fund. Together with our partners at Waterloo, and Norwood & Brixton we have been delivering over 400 food parcels per week to some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Amey’s generous donation will allow us to continue this important work, and to feed many more families in crisis over the coming months.“ Tim Frisby, Social Action Coordinator, Vauxhall Foodbank