Damien Egan at Lewisham Foodbank

A appeal by the elected mayor of Lewisham to help the borough’s food bank amid the coronavirus crisis has already raised £4,000, just one day after it was launched.

The fundraiser was launched on Monday after the Covid-19 pandemic put London’s food banks under severe pressure. Stockpiling has meant the Lewisham food bank is short of toilet roll, among other items.

Damien Egan said: “In response to the challenges Covid-19 presents to our community we are raising vital funds for Lewisham Foodbank. At a time of immense pressure, we must do all we can to ensure they can continue to provide much-needed support. By giving a small donation you will help to support the amazing work Lewisham Foodbank is doing to help residents in need.

“The spread of Covid-19 means we are facing an unprecedented challenge. Reports of panic buying mean that now more than ever it’s important to support the food banks in their work to help people who are most in need.”

Residents can donate cash to the appeal at lewishamfoodbankappeal.co.uk

To cope with the consequences of stockpiling, Lewisham Foodbank has asked for donations of essential goods.  

A spokesperson said: “With stockpiling, we anticipate it could become difficult to obtain some of our essentials. At the moment, we are asking for donations of toilet roll, UHT milk, long life juice, tinned vegetables and pasta sauce. We would also appreciate tins of meat and fish. During the health crisis, food bank usage is expected to go up, and many users of the service will not be able to stockpile. 
“Many effects of the crisis would impact especially hard on those living with food insecurity such as the impact of school closures for families who receive free school meals. So many of our clients do not have the means to stockpile food.”

Egan’s counterpart in Greenwich, council leader Danny Thorpe said he was “blown away” by the community’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, Lewisham Council has cancelled all public meetings on government advice. A spokesperson said the council is doing its “utmost for public safety”.  


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Grainne Cuffe is the Local Democracy Reporter for Lewisham. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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