Sheffield’s Food Banks Suffer After Panic Buying Stops Them Buying in Bulk

A Sheffield food bank has urged people to bulk buy responsibly as they struggle to buy enough food for their visitors.

Volunteers at the S2 Foodbank, in Woodthorpe, have said the mass buying triggered by the Coronavirus has restricted the amount of essentials they can give to those in need. In a regular week, over one tonne of food is given out.

Volunteers Sue Rose and Julie Roberts said they have to do what they can with the few items they can find as the crisis continues. Ms Rose said: “The supermarket situation could get dire.

“We always have a big store of dried food and carbohydrates but that’s what people have been going for in the supermarket. It’s the vulnerable people it’s going to hit worst, affluent people can afford to bulk buy.

“It’s selfish, really.”

Ms Robert said limits on the amount you can buy makes it hard for the food bank to go on: “I’ve struggled getting antiseptic sprays, wipes, toilet rolls. I’m going to run out of milk this week, I don’t know how we’re going to hold out.”

As the first case of Coronavirus has been detected in Sheffield panic buying has continued, with branches of Tesco in the city limiting purchases of bottled water to five per-person.

For food banks like this one, buying enough cleaning products to keep the disease from spreading whilst visitors collect supplies is a major issue.

The S2 Foodbank has received 45 visitors in the last week, each with their own families to feed.

The Prime Minister is holding a COBRA group meeting today to discuss the next stage of the Coronavirus containment plan. It is expected to move to the ‘delay phase’ and if public gatherings are banned as a precautionary measure, food banks may be affected.

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