RUNCORN and District Foodbank would like to thank all those who have supported them both with food and monetary donations throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for the foodbank said there had been a magnificent response: "The Runcorn and District Foodbank has had to make significant changes at all its venues to protect clients, donors and volunteers. The foodbank was initially hit when our over 70's had to step down but other member of the public stepped in, particularly those who have been furloughed and we have been able to keep all our distribution centres open and our warehouse functioning.

"The support from the volunteers and public in all aspects of the foodbank has been fantastic. The trustees have been meeting via Zoom on a weekly basis to keep up to date with what's happening in order to ensure we work within the restrictions laid down by both the government and the Trussell Trust, to whom we are affiliated. We are pleased that we have managed to put in sufficient safety measures for both volunteers and clients, so that we can continue to meet our clients’ needs.

"We also have a short list of reserve volunteers in case things change. The warehouse is currently well stocked, thanks to the very generous donations of the public and many organisations and supermarkets."

The spokesperson added that within a week of the lockdown that most job centres, doctor's surgeries and other voucher holders were not able to give out red vouchers because of government guidelines. As a result, within weeks, the trust switched 36 of their voucher holders from using the red card vouchers to using electronic vouchers.

"A big thank you to the members of the administration team who created the access for these voucher holders to begin using e-vouchers so that clients could still get food. The 36 include many housing trusts, children’s centres, five GP practices, Citizens’ Advice and other organisations. The e-voucher system will stay in place once the lockdown is over, so voucher holders will then have two ways of giving out foodbank vouchers. For those still giving the red vouchers out, our office now is open only on Friday 10am to 12 noon. There are yellow floor markings to allow our visitors to remain at a safe distance."

A small home delivery team has also been set up for those people deemed by voucher holders as needing this service. This is for those who are self-isolating or housebound and have nobody to collect food on their behalf.

For more information and further changes visit the website at: