Shell UK is to make a series of monthly donations to foodbanks close to its main operating sites, to help support local communities during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The funds will be shared across foodbanks in the five communities around Shell’s offices and gas plants.

While many charities are struggling during the pandemic, food banks in particular are experiencing ‘the perfect storm’. Demand for their services is soaring as more people lose regular incomes, there has been a massive drop in donations as people are forced to stay inside, and many volunteer staff, who are typically older, are no longer able to support. Shell has chosen to support foodbanks, as part of its community response, after seeking advice on how best to help those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shell UK Country Chair Sinead Lynch said: “We want to help our communities where their needs are most acute and where our support can make a real and immediate difference. Whilst every foodbank is different, their support for those in crisis often goes well beyond the lifeline of emergency food, from employment support to debt counselling. Getting behind these services have never been more important.”.

Some foodbanks in Shell’s local communities, which stretch across Scotland, the South East of England and London, are experiencing a 400% increase in demand – at the same time as having to cancel 2020 fundraising events due to social distancing measures. And while food charities have already been generously supported by a number of companies, they still need more funding in these communities.

Funds from Shell UK will be used to buy food and essentials, and to cover the extra costs involved in making doorstep deliveries. They will also be used to support the food charities’ work in helping lift people out of poverty, such a debt-counselling, as well as providing hardship loans and pastoral care.

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