A foodbank is feeding more than double the number of families it used to before the coronavirus outbreak.

Foodbank Lifeline Foundation, which was forced to close the doors of its centres due to the pandemic, is now delivering food to about 300 families per week, up from about 130.

“This has only been possible because of generous donations by individuals and businesses who rose to the occasion when they heard we were struggling,” said Lisa Villette, a foundation volunteer and board member.

The redundancies caused by the outbreak have brought many families to their knees. Some people live hand to mouth, Villette said, so when their income suddenly drops they can no longer afford the necessities.

Fortunately, as demand has risen, so has supply, including fresh produce and bread.

Nothing goes to waste: whenever possible, the foundation is also helping different NGOs, such as those supporting domestic violence survivors.

Formerly known as the St Andrew’s Scots church foodbank, the foundation provides food for a few weeks to families temporarily facing a crisis.

Before COVID-19, the foundation distributed food from its premises in St Paul’s Bay, Birkirkara, Valletta and Paola.

Having to adapt to social distancing measures, it is now delivering food to clients with the help of the delivery company Bolt and civil defence voluntary organisation St John Rescue Corps.

St John Rescue has meanwhile launched a drive-by station for donors of non-perishable food items. This will be set up at the car park area in front of its headquarters at Fort Madalena, Madliena Road, Madliena.

People can drop off items on weekdays between 6pm and 8pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 5pm.

Food donations can also be made at Valyou supermarkets in Naxxar and Mellieħa, Smart supermarket and Pama.

Another way to donate is for people to band together to collect money with which one shopper could then buy food for the foundation, making it easier to stick to social distancing guidelines.

Monetary donations are also coming in from established groups. The Catenian Association’s Valletta Circle has just donated a sum to the foodbank which it would normally have raised for other charitable institutions, after its members agreed the situation necessitated a change in direction.

Look up Foodbank Lifeline Foundation on Facebook or www.foodbanklifeline.com to see how you can help.

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