Islanders who find themselves unable to afford food in the midst of the virus outbreak will have access to emergency packages thanks to the work of a local charity and community donations.
The Jersey Salvation Army branch set up a food bank last Friday following a request from the Government.
Based at the charity’s premises on Minden Street, the food bank aims to help any islanders who find themselves unable to afford food after coming into hardship, such as losing their job, for example.
“If someone feels they are in need they can ring us at 872 270, their details will be taken and the delivery will be arranged,” Lieutenant Alice Nunn, who has been coordinating the initiative with husband Richard, explained.
The couple has been working with other organisations and churches, such as the Grace Trust, to get the food bank up and running.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which normally runs its own food bank, gave all its stock to the Salvation Army’s newly established initiative after they found themselves unable to run their own service due to their volunteers being over the age of 65.
The food bank will distribute everyday household essentials such as pasta, rice, dry foods, tins, jars, long life milk, cereals as well as cleaning products and toilet paper. Nappies, wipes and formula will also be available for families with babies.
The charity has already received many donations since making its first appeal last Friday. Mrs Nunn issued a big thank you to the 'Coronavirus Jersey – Acts of kindness' Facebook group for starting off the donations.
“People from the community have been amazing and so generous,” she added. “It’s the community coming together. People have been so generous. We have had some amazing donations.”
The charity is still taking donations and islanders are invited to drop them off at the café door opposite the vehicle entrance to Minden Place carpark to follow social distancing rules.
“We are still accepting donations while we can,” Mrs Nunn said.
Pictured: The Salvation Army is located on Minden Street, opposite the vehicle entrance to Minden Place carpark. (Google Maps)
Islanders can also support the food bank by making donations by ringing the charity or by offering some of their time. They can register on volunteer.je, which is coordinating all volunteer needs during the covid-19 outbreak.
“Please have a little bit of patience,” Mrs Nunn pleaded. “There is a lot of goodwill out there and this is something we will need long term. None of us expected this, none of us were prepared for it.
“If you do not get through at first, we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.”
While she has been coordinating the food bank since Friday, Mrs Nunn reminded islanders that the Salvation Army is not the only organisation helping islanders through the crisis, or in normal times.
“We have to pull together this is the small part that we can play,” she said. “It’s not just us - there have been some amazing people that have stepped up.
“All year round we are passionate to help the vulnerable. So many charities have to do this all year round, although not quite to that extent and hopefully, we won’t have to do something of that extent for a while, we do the part that we are here to do.”
If you are in need of a food pack, call 01534 872270.
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