Let Them Eat Nothing: Food Banks to Close for Queen’s Funeral

But one will re-open after an online backlash.

by Simon Childs

13 September 2022

Photo: @WimbledonFB on Twitter
Photo: @WimbledonFB on Twitter

Food banks are closing their doors out of respect for the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

On Monday a Stoke-on-Trent food bank announced that it would close three distribution points at churches in the city, as well as its warehouse and office on the day of the funeral which will take place at Westminster Abbey.

South Sefton food bank in Liverpool, Stockport food bank and Keynsham food bank in Bristol, made similar announcements.

Source: @WimbledonFB on Twitter
Source: @WimbledonFB on Twitter

On Tuesday, Wimbledon food bank in south west London announced that it would close all of its centres on Monday 19 September “due to [the] Queen’s funeral”.

“Our condolences go out to the Royal family at this sad time,” it said, in a tweet that has now been deleted.

Following an online backlash, the food bank later said: “Due to the overwhelming support we have received we now have volunteers to run our Monday session as usual. As a reminder we are not a government service and run solely on peoples donations of time, money and food.”

The food bank provides three-day crisis food parcels to people in need. According to its website, the food bank has fed over 4,000 to date, at least 40% of whom were young children.

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of 1,300 food banks said: “Food banks in our network run sessions on different days and at different times. Food banks are best placed to make the right decision for their communities and will ensure everyone who needs support can access it as they do with every bank holiday.

“As each food bank is an independent charity, we’d encourage people who need support to contact their local food bank to check their opening hours.”

According to the Trussell Trust’s most recent figures, 2.1 million emergency food packages were distributed between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022, 832,000 of them to children. This is an increase of 14% compared to the same period in 2019/20. Food bank use exploded after 2010 when the coalition government introduced austerity policies which increased food insecurity.

The news of food bank closures follows the revelation that thousands of patients have had hospital appointments cancelled because of the Queen’s funeral.

Simon Childs is a commissioning editor and reporter for Novara Media.

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