01:00PM, Friday 10 April 2020
The Louis Baylis Trust has given £3,000 to the Royal Borough’s foodbanks to help them support those who will be struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
The trust has given Maidenhead Foodshare based in King Street £2,000 and Windsor Foodshare based in Dedworth Green Baptist Church £1,000.
Chairman of the trustees, Peter Sands, said ‘it’s just an area we thought we’d be proactive and donate to’.
“I think in the present pandemic we’re conscious there will be pressure on places like foodbanks and so we’ve made a donation outside our normal donation cycle because they’re one of the first things that come to mind,” he said.
“Even in an area like this, which is supposedly affluent, there’s still a lot of people going to be struggling with perhaps losing their jobs, or being put on furlough with no pay, or whatever it might be.”
He added: “We’ve also said to them that if they have pressing needs in the interim, before our next distribution meeting, come back to us and we’ll look at it again.”
Normally the trust distributes between £250,000-£300,000 at two points each year, with the next round of grant applications opening in June.
In addition, last week the Louis Baylis Trust also launched a £10,000 emergency fund to be used by charities and organisations during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.
Lester Tanner, a trustee of Maidenhead Foodshare said the Louis Baylis Trust donation will ‘help us out in a big way’ and will be spent on buying fresh food.
“The foodbank now is incredibly busy, the number of people we are helping has risen quite significantly and we expect that just to continue to rise, and we’re also providing other services to help at this time.”
Prior to coronavirus Foodshare provided food for about 100 to 110 households, Lester said this has risen to almost 150.
In a bid to stop the spread of the virus the charity is now distributing all of the food it gives to people, this means almost 150 deliveries a week when previously it was about 10.
Maidenhead Foodshare volunteers are also making, in their home kitchens, nutritious meals which are put into containers and delivered to schools.
Lester said there are for families who ‘are struggling a bit now that the kids aren’t getting fed at school’.
Maidenhead Foodshare is also working with the Windsor Homeless Project to get food to the homeless which the council have housed upon the government’s request.
The charity is also giving ‘emergency bags’ to the various good neighbour groups, set-up to help during the Covid-19 crisis, to give to individuals and families who need them.
Sarah Howard, co-ordinator at Windsor Foodshare said the donation is ‘so invaluable’.
“That was just incredible,” she said. “Usually we tick along most of the year with donations of food matching demand, but demand has shot up amd donations have massively dropped.”
She added: “Most of the things we supply our customers with are all the things that people stock-pile.”
The race to get as many people vaccinated against coronavirus has ramped up in the Royal Borough and Slough amidst an ongoing rise in cases across the country.
A total of 69 per cent of complaints made to the Windsor and Maidenhead council were upheld by a local authority watchdog, figures have revealed.