Birmingham foodbank given £10,000 boost

Watches of Switzerland help support local people through COVID-19.

Birmingham Central Foodbank has received a lifeline donation of £10,000 from The Watches of Switzerland Group to support its fight against hunger.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, UK food banks have experienced a soaring 89 per cent increase in demand for emergency food parcels, including a 107 per cent rise in parcels given to children*.

The Watches of Switzerland Group recognised the emergency need for additional funds to feed families, and in response pledged £100,000 to UK food banks and $50,000 to food banks in the USA – two nations amongst the hardest hit by the virus.

These vital funds have been shared between seven of The Trussell Trust’s food banks in UK cities where the group has a presence, including Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Leicester, Bristol and London. While the USA donation has been gifted to food banks in New York, Las Vegas and Florida.

Demand for emergency food in Birmingham has increased rapidly as a result of the pandemic. As well as providing people with food boxes, Birmingham Central Foodbank has also supplied food to local charity Ladywood Helpers to feed people in the community. The food bank is preparing for an even bigger increase in demand in the coming weeks, as temporary aid stations around the city begin to close and redundancies are likely to continue.

Birmingham is a special city to the group as it has a long-standing history as part of its retail offering, with a Goldsmiths store in the Bullring and Touchwood Court in Solihull, and a Watches of Switzerland showroom in the city centre.

Brian Duffy, CEO of The Watches of Switzerland Group, said: “During the Covid-19 crisis as more and more people fall on hard times, we are very aware of the significant increase in those relying on food banks and we wanted to play a small role in giving back to those most in need.

“While looking after the health and wellbeing of our colleagues has been our main priority, we also recognised the need to look after the people living in the communities around our stores. Our people have always been truly passionate about helping local causes, and we hope that these donations will help the food banks keep up with the demand they are experiencing to feed families in the UK and USA.”

Rev. Mark Ryan, Senior Minister and CEO at Birmingham City Church where the food bank is based, said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of this incredible donation from The Watches of Switzerland Group, which is a blessing to us. The money will make a direct difference to the lives of real people in real need, by helping us to help people who live in some of the most deprived areas of our city.

“At this time of the year it is always challenging to find enough donations to allow us to keep up with increasing demand in our fight against hunger. We are also dealing with the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic this year, which has heightened demand significantly and we expect this to continue as financial insecurity for many people will unfortunately worsen.”

For more information visit Birmingham Central Foodbank.