London meals financial institution worker fears Tier four restrictions will result in extreme loneliness this Christmas

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One food bank has described the changes they had to make for the strangest Christmas in living memory.

Tier 4 restrictions and increasing reliance on food banks have put a strain on the community service of hundreds in the capital during what is always the busiest time of year.

However, this year one food bank fears its customers will suffer more from loneliness than from food shortages.

The Barking Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust, usually hosts events for the homeless and anyone who uses their service, including a Christmas dinner. However, this was cut back this year due to Tier 4 restrictions.

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Now the grocery bank is preparing to provide its customers with Christmas baskets and merchandise to guide them through Christmas Day themselves.

Obi Onyeabor, who has been with Barking Foodbank for nine years, said, “A lot has changed this year. In any case, people will be lonely on Christmas Day without our events.

“We usually have a lot of Christmas events and a meal on Christmas Day, but due to the coronavirus we can’t have anyone in the house.

“There will be a lot of people with nowhere to go.”

Obi said he was not worried about food supplies for Christmas when Sainsbury’s announced today that there may be “broccoli and fruit shortages”.

The concern for the Barking Foodbank is that there is enough stock for the new year.

“I’m not worried about getting enough to eat for Christmas. People have been very generous over the past two weeks.

“But donations drop sharply from January to March and the number of people who need food increases.

“So we try to stock up until next year.”

The Barking Foodbank will distribute the Christmas baskets on Wednesday.

They will also be open on Christmas Eve to distribute food.

Dr. Sarah Jarvis, Good Morning Britain’s general practitioner, said on the program today, “I’m also very concerned about people who think they’ll be alone this Christmas.

“Support bubbles remain absolute, even if you are in a different level. The ideal is that even if you are on the same level, you have a support bubble with another person on the same level.

“But if you live alone, if you are a single parent with children under 18, if you are a parent with children under one on December 2, or a parent with children under five with a disability on December 2, or if one Parent has a child who has a disability and needs constant care, you can enter the fourth stage with another family which includes Christmas Day. “

For more information on donating to the Barking Foodbank or a food bank in the Trussell Trust, click here.

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