A local charity that delivers the Lincoln Foodbank Project revealed that over 109,701 meals were provided through emergency food parcels during the first 12 months of the coronavirus pandemic.
Over 6,034 food parcels given out, which represents 12,189 individual awards of food aid (8,163 adults and 4,026 children) and 36,234 meals provided to children. A food parcel lasts for an average of 3 days meaning that 109,701 meals were provided.
Data was collected from the online referral system created and managed by the Acts Trust, which is used by Lincoln Foodbank, Lincoln Community Larder and Lincoln Mosque to distribute food parcels. Data has also been collected by St Swithin’s Church.
Demand spiked during the first lockdown with a secondary increase starting when restrictions were imposed again nationally in November.
The pandemic had a big impact on food poverty in Lincoln, with a reliance on the ‘safety net’ provided by local charities through the provision of emergency food parcels.
The five areas with the highest levels of food poverty local were LN2 5 (Monks Road area), LN5 8 (Sincil Bank/Bracebridge), LN6 0 (Birchwood/Hartsholme) and LN1 3 (Ermine West/Burton Road area).
Donations also increased by 62% from 52 to 84 tonnes in 2020, highlighting the generosity of people in Lincoln towards those impacted by food poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data showed that there has been a 71% increase in kilograms of food given out by Lincoln Foodbank compared to the previous year. In 2019, Lincoln Foodbank gave out 39 tonnes of food, which increased to 67 tonnes last year.
A fifth of parcels were given due to lost or reduced income as a result of the pandemic.
In total, 6,034 households received an emergency food parcel, with this figure including repeat referrals.
The main driver for referrals was ‘benefit issues’. However, almost a third (29.7%) of referrals were coronavirus related, either due to self isolations (10.1%) or due to lost or reduced income (19.6%).
A new online referral system was launched in February 2021 to make it easier for local organisations to refer people who they believe need to support with an emergency food parcel – register your organisation here.