A Nottingham food bank is nearing maximum capacity after the number of meals served per week soared by 130 during lockdown.
Chrissie Morris, 67, who helped set up Nourish, which is based at St Martin’s Church, Sherwood, said: “We started at 22 meals a week in November, now we’re doing 150 meals most weeks, with our busiest being 152.
“I think realistically we’ve got the capability of cooking 160 meals maximum, so when that number goes over, we’ve got to have to rethink how we’re going to cope,” she added.
“The coronavirus has made us realise that this is bigger than what we think. A lot of people have lost their jobs or are on furlough with rent and bills still to pay.
Volunteer-run Nourish provides free, hot meals to anyone in need “without any questions asked”.
The food bank also operates a food delivery service to flats in Sherwood, via Nottingham transport service CT4N, for elderly residents that are physically or financially unable to cook and buy their own meals.
Nourish serves a wide range of people – from students “struggling in isolation” to NHS staff “too tired to cook” and asylum-seekers and refugees.
The food bank has raised £3,839 through JustGiving alone, along with donations from attendees at St Martins Church.
The money supports a team of up to six cooks and helpers in a morning and eight more volunteers in an evening, who box up meals to deliver.
“There’s a society of people in Sherwood that are extremely vulnerable,” Ms Morris said. “So, just giving them a meal, it’s nothing for us, we smile at them, just 30 seconds of conversation and they’re over the moon.”
“All of this is an absolute privilege to be doing and it helps the community build relationships, a happy atmosphere, and it’s done people a lot of good to come out and do something rather than sit at home.”
For more information on how you can help support the Nottingham food bank, visit the Nourish food bank JustGiving page.