Beccy Strong – Behind the Line

Pandemic in Pictures Prize Nominee Beccy Strong has been documenting the work of Torbay based food banks during the pandemic. 

Beccy’s words:

The first UK lockdown saw a four fold increase in demand for food; with Torbay’s food banks forming an alliance to try to make sure no one goes hungry. Spending time with volunteers, donors and people in receipt of this lifeline, I saw a crisis further straining what was already a system at breaking point.

Torbay is the most deprived area in the South West and has some of the worst statistics in the UK for child poverty and domestic abuse. Those who were already at the edge are now joined by hundreds of people who were immediately laid off work as the leisure and tourism industries shut down.

Community Centres, offices, village halls and unused church buildings are now the unexpected home to this growing front line. Volunteers work long days, organising food and basic sanitary supplies into bags, enough for one person to live from over three days. The Torbay food alliance has thrown a safety net out and the impact goes beyond simply feeding people in this crisis.

So far 1500 people have called in asking for help and have been matched to a growing network of volunteers who are able to deliver free food parcels from local food banks in the network. The crisis has shown the weak areas in food provision for the most vulnerable but it has also allowed for people to give, and people most at risk from food poverty are now connected into a growing support network in their community.

Sometimes kindness can be found in the darkest moments.

Beccy’s work was among the final shortlist for the Pandemic in Pictures prize. We really recommending checking out the rest of Beccy’s work, her website can be found at the bottom of the page. 

Beccy Strong, Pandemic in Pictures Prize
Image by: Beccy Strong

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Beccy’s Website:

Instagram: @beccy_strong