Survey of food providers and VCSE organisations

Between 18th and 31st March GMPA ran two surveys to understand the initial impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on parts of our network. Thank you to everyone who responded. The findings from both surveys have been fed through the key stakeholders across the city region.

The Food Providers Survey was targeted at food banks, food clubs/ pantries and providers of hot meals. We had 72 responses. Key findings included:

•  Nearly half of food banks/ food clubs/pantries saw an increase in people accessing support at the start of the outbreak.

•  At the same time, eight out of ten food banks/ food cubs/pantries experienced a reduction in volunteering capacity. Most food banks/ food clubs/pantries and meal providers reported that they rely on volunteers who are aged 60 or above.

The main items respondents reported being in need of were:

•  Food – UHT milk, cereals, pasta, rice, canned items (baked beans, soup, vegetables, fruit, meat and fish)

•  Non-food – Nappies, bars of soap, household cleaning products, anti-bacterial wipes, toilet rolls, hand sanitiser, hand wash.

The VCSE sector survey was aimed at VCSE organisations in GMPA’s network whose work supports people in ways other than through food provision. There were 90 responses to this survey. Key findings included:

•  Many organisations have seen a decrease in the number of people hoping to access their services;

•  The number of volunteers available to support projects and services has been reduced due to some being 70 or older, unwell or with family members unwell all self-isolating, others have children at home.  There has been a small increase in volunteers in some organisations due to people being off work.

Many services would normally be delivered face to face. Organisations are working hard to provide as much support by phone or online.

Organisations are generally very concerned about their ability to return to their normal service once this crisis is over for a variety of reasons although primarily their concerns are financial.

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