Asda have been helping get new volunteers into food banks during the coronavirus pandemic by supporting the Trussell Trust with a digital volunteer system that connects volunteers to nearby food banks that need their support.
Volunteers are the bedrock of all the things food banks do – without volunteers, food banks wouldn’t be able to collect donations, ensure people who need support can get help, or campaign for long-term change to prevent people needing food banks in the future.
But when coronavirus struck, many food bank volunteers who were over 70 or had a health condition, needed to stay at home in line with government guidance. At exactly the same time, food banks were busier than ever before – with more and more people needing emergency support as the impact of the crisis hit how much money people had for essentials.
Food banks were also making big changes to the way they worked to ensure people could get support safely – for some this meant doing deliveries, and for others it meant making sure social distancing could be followed in their centres. Facing these challenges, food banks needed their volunteer teams.
Asda’s support meant the Trussell Trust could launch a digital volunteer system that connects people who want to volunteer with nearby food banks needing their support.
At Brent Foodbank, this meant not only could they link up with nearby people eager to give their time – but they could also organise who was volunteering and when really quickly and easily through the system, saving valuable hours during a period when the food bank was busier than ever before.
Brent Foodbank Project Manager Claudia Wallace explains the difference it makes:
“It’s been really exciting getting to see the volunteer system up and running. It’s easy to log in and move around the site. It’s been great seeing our rota come together and we’re looking forward to getting our recruitment into the system as well. This will be a real time saver!”