The City has a reputation for being the beating heart of the UK’s financial industry where traders generate eye-watering sums of money.
But as always the stereotype is never the full picture and in these coronavirus beset times with many businesses including shops, restaurants and service industries closed down, the City is the latest area to set up a food bank.
It’s been set up in just under a week by City resident Liz King and a team of volunteers with help from Age UK.
She said: “I had never had anything to do with food banks besides giving tins when I go shopping and now in less than a week coming together in the Barbican and the whole community is amazing.”
She added: “We don’t know what the demand is going to be.”
But she stressed that: “No-one is going to slip through out of want. No-one will get forgotten. We are here for each other. It’s been amazing and humbling.”
The new food bank is operating across the City, including the Barbican, Golden Lane estate, Portsoken ward near the borders with Tower Hamlets including Middlesex Street and the Mansell Street estate which has 194 homes.
The first donations were collected on 27 March and a team of more than 20 volunteers have rallied round to help.
The supplies are then put into quarantine for 72 hours before they are given to people who need them.
Volunteer Melissa Ramos said : “It’s really important that people know it’s for everyone in the City, what ever age they are.”
The City of London Corporation has provided a place to store the donations securely.
Food and other essential items are collected from a drop-off point in the Barbican between 10am and 11am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Food bank organisers said: “We are seeking non perishable items and ‘Back of the store cupboard’ items are welcome. But if you do want to donate your store cupboard items, please check the ‘use by’ date.
“This is very important, because Age UK City of London cannot be responsible for delivering potentially unsafe food. Due to the virus, we want as little handling of all items in order to protect both volunteers and recipients.”
Their wish list of donations includes long-life milk or powdered milk, cereal, tins of meat, fish, fruit and vegetable, baked beans, soup, spaghetti, rice and pasta.
They have also requested spreads including jam, peanut butter and Marmite, sweet and savoury biscuits, tea, coffee, sugar and salt as well as long life fruit juice.
The shopping list also includes toilet roll, soap, shower gel, washing up liquid and bleach.
Ms King said they were also keen to hear from any businesses such as hotels which are able to donate goods.
People can also donate via justgiving.com/ageuklondon.