When Covid-19 hit Britain the nation was put into lockdown; businesses, livelihoods and the economy ground to a halt. Since then food banks across the nation have seen a dramatic surge in demand. For hundreds of thousands of people food banks are the only way they can survive.

Charlie writes: “Since lockdown I have been volunteering at my local food bank – The South London Food Bank Warehouse. I saw huge amounts of food and essential items coming and going each day, I just couldn’t believe how much the warehouse was giving out. When I talked to the people who had been working there longer, they told me of the dramatic rise in demand since the lockdown started – it was shocking. In April 2020 the South London Food Bank Warehouse fed 3,600 people – three times more than usual. I realised this must also be happening across the nation, so I started documenting it with my camera.

I spent time photographing both the South London Food Bank Warehouse and The Bonny Downs Food Bank in Newham for this project. I witnessed local heroes volunteering their time to support their community. There’s a wonderful positive atmosphere in the food banks, everyone is friendly, no-one is judged, it’s so welcoming. But when you chat to one of the people receiving food you discover just how difficult their life is.”

According to the International Monetary Fund we are facing the worst recession since the 1930s. The need for food banks in the UK is sadly only going to rise.

To donate and help food banks across the UK please visit the Trussell Trust or leave some items in the drop box at your local supermarket.

Charlie Clift