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Coronavirus: Grantham Foodbank to reopen with new safety measures in place

Grantham Foodbank will reopen tomorrow (Friday) with more stringent safety measures in place to protect their volunteers and clients.

Foodbank services were put on hold earlier this week due to dwindling supplies and a shortage of volunteers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

South Kesteven District Council stepped in to help and offered advice on how to operate safely under new Covid-19 guidance and reassure volunteers.

Grantham Foodbank co-ordinator Brian Hanbury (centre, back) with volunteers receiving the SKDC donation (24417487)
Grantham Foodbank co-ordinator Brian Hanbury (centre, back) with volunteers receiving the SKDC donation (24417487)

Environmental health specialists advised Foodbank manager Brian Hanbury on how to minimise infection risks when handling food stocks, and how to conform to social distancing requirements.

The council also donated alcohol wipes to help with sanitation and supplied barriers to organise queues while people are waiting.

Brian said: "A high proportion of our volunteers are in the at risk category so we needed time to gain advice and permissions to do what we do as safe as we possibly can."

Grantham Foodbank (5565096)
Grantham Foodbank (5565096)

Safety measures being introduced from tomorrow include distributing food parcels from tables outside the unit at 1-2, Greyfriars, instead of indoors. Clients will also be asked to queue two metres apart.

Brian added: "Through the generosity of many people over the last week we have enough food for everyone so we would ask people to arrive through our distribution period to avoid long queues forming.

"We will then ask clients to come to tables near our two doors to receive their food parcels in boxes, moving to another table to pack the food into their bags thereby ensuring two metres distance is maintained at all times."

Food donations are still being encouraged but at specific times throughout the week.

Brian added: "To enable us to receive these donations safely we will open for donations only at the specific times thereby separating the deliveries from the distribution of food. The delivery times will be on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10am and 11.30am unless a preorganised time slot has been negotiated.

"I am extremely grateful for all the help from SKDC. It’s made a big difference and given us security of mind about how we can adapt to the new guidance and open as normal."

The leader of SKDC, Councillor Kelham Cooke, is delighted that the council have been able to help this vital service.

He added: "This is a vital service for people in difficulty, and never more desperately needed than now. We are committed to supporting our communities in very challenging times and will be keeping in touch to see what further help might be needed as the weeks go on.”

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