FOODBANKS in the Runcorn and Widnes say they will continue helping people despite the unrelenting coronavirus crisis.

They said they are working closely with referral agencies to ensure that all people in the community have their needs met despite the current challenges.

A spokesperson for Runcorn District Foodbank said: "A number of our staff, about 20 per cent, are in the 70 plus age group or have underlining conditions.

"We are open as normal with all our centres at moment – subject to illness and food and we will review matters as they arise.

"We will be working with a group based in Runcorn Shopping City who can get clients to voucher holders and distribution centres."

The Trussell Trust Stop UK Hunger, which supports a nationwide network of foodbanks, providing emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, released a statement saying they would also still be working closely with their network to make sure they are able to support people in need.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “Our main priority is ensuring the safety of everyone who comes to a foodbank – whether it’s someone needing help, someone volunteering their time, or someone making a donation.

"Food banks sometimes run low on certain items but we’ve not yet heard that any foodbank in our network is running out of all food donations. A crisis can often bring out the best in people, and we encourage everyone to carry on donating after checking with their local food bank which items are most needed."

She added that it was hard to surmise if this would change in the coming weeks as each foodbank runs on volunteering work

She added: "We’re therefore working closely with our network to understand each foodbank’s situation and how we can best support them. Wide-ranging conversations are underway with national partners, exploring how we can work together to help ensure people can access support in the coming weeks, how we get vital food to the places it’s most needed, and how we can help boost volunteer numbers in areas where extra volunteers may be needed.

“But this cannot fall to food banks alone. The changes announced to our benefits system in the last week by the Department for Work and Pensions are welcome - it is right that we focus on getting money to people so they can afford essentials during the pandemic. Our benefits system could be the life-raft people need now.

"That’s why it’s more important than ever that we end the five week wait for Universal Credit. As the outbreak develops, more people than ever could need this help – especially those who aren’t eligible for sick pay or have unstable jobs. While thousands of our incredible volunteers continue to help people unable to afford the basics, we would ask our government to take this essential step and end the five-week wait now. It’s five weeks too long.”

For more information on foodbanks in your area visit