City Library Science postgraduate students have teamed up with Age UK to create a temporary emergency food bank for vulnerable citizens in the City of London.

Published Monday, 27th April, 2020 in University news

Melissa Ramos and some of her fellow City Library Science postgraduate students are working in tandem with Age UK to set up an emergency food bank for City of London residents during the pandemic. The project was developed after it was advised that people vulnerable to Covid-19, like senior citizens and people with disabilities, remain at home during the pandemic.

Melissa knew she wanted to make a difference, and set up a basic webpage detailing what kind of food items were in high demand. Working on both the front-end and back-end of the project, she is applying her academic and work experience skills to the task: managing the rota and WhatsApp group as well as being directly involved collecting food, arranging it in parcels, and managing deliveries.

Joining forces

Alice Westlake, the project leader for Age UK, explained that the food bank is a temporary one that “works by collecting donations which are bagged up, quarantined and then delivered to those in need.”

The team are also keen to support other impacted groups during the pandemic. One recent achievement was that Melissa and friends were able to deliver Easter eggs to over two hundred households over the Bank Holiday weekend, all donated courtesy of local businesses such as Tesco Cheapside, Tesco Barbican, Marks & Spencer Finsbury Pavement, Waitrose Barbican and Prior Weston Primary School.

Continuing to work with partners is an important goal of the food bank. Melissa said:

It’s really important that people know that the Square Mile Food Bank is for everyone in need in the City whatever age they are.

Ways to help

There are many ways that City students can get involved including:

-     Donate food to the food bank. Donations of non-perishable items are accepted on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10-11am outside Lauderdale Tower, Barbican.

-     Join up with your local Mutual Aid group to offer your skills and support in the borough where you live.

-     Check in on older neighbours and see if they need anything, let them know about support that is on offer that they may not be aware of.

For more information, visit the Barbican Volunteers website to see how you can help or donate to the Square Mile Food Bank.