CCP has issued a rallying call to members of the public and local businesses in the county to think of those less fortunate than themselves and help the charity to meet what is expected to be a considerable spike in demand for emergency food parcels and household items.
Cordell Ray, Chief Executive of CCP commented: “We are living in an unprecedented set of circumstances in our lifetime. Our very real fear is that those in Society that are the least well equipped to withstand some of the consequences of the current situation, will be the first to be impacted and will look to us for help with food parcels in large numbers. Some of the likely short-term implications the public could face include for example a reduction or total loss of income, which may well lead to people turning to us for the first time for similar help as well. There is a very sad irony that this comes at exactly the same time as perhaps unsurprisingly, donations have all but dried up and some of the products are not easily obtainable”.
“We have sufficient supplies to last us a few days at normal levels of demand but nothing like the volume we think we may need, which is why we are issuing this plea for help. We are asking the people and businesses of Gloucestershire to ask themselves what they can do to help in this grave situation”.
It is anybody’s guess by how much demand will increase, but it is likely to be at least four times normal levels, due to a “perfect storm” of unfortunate circumstances. Stay at home advice means that for many households all the occupants will be at home and needing three meals a day. The stay at home advice is also leading to increased electricity and gas bills. People are losing their jobs, being furloughed, seeing their pay cut or reduced hours. Last but by no means least, due to the economic consequences of Coronavirus, people are finding it difficult to access Universal Credit benefits.
How can people help?
Make a cash donation to allow CCP to buy products that are in most demand. Businesses can make donations via the CCP website – www.ccp.org.uk/appeal/emergencyfoodshare
Donate any spare items to CCP and collect them from colleagues. If people are able to do so they can deliver these to CCP at 340 High Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 3JF.
People can volunteer to sort items or to be a driver to deliver food parcels to those in need.
Firms being forced to shut can donate any surplus food products and those with storage or chiller facilities can also make this available to CCP.
What are the most in need items?
Dairy products including milk. Sandwich fillings, fruit, veg and main meals such as pies. Cereals and long life milk, tinned meat or fish, soup, biscuits, tea or coffee, sugar, pasta and pasta sauce, toilet rolls, crisps, tinned fruit, toiletries, part baked bread, washing powder, curry/chilli sauce, ketchup.
Cordell Ray concluded: “The current situation is going to be difficult for us all. But we hope that the people and businesses of Gloucestershire will respond to our plea and help those less fortunate than themselves. We would be delighted to hear from anybody who can help us meet the inevitable increase in demand”.