Coronavirus: London City Airport donates £12,500 to Newham foodbanks

Community Food Enterprise chief executive Eric Samuel. Picture: Stuart Bailey Photography.

Community Food Enterprise chief executive Eric Samuel. Picture: Stuart Bailey Photography. - Credit: Picture by: Stuart Bailey

London City Airport (LCA) is donating £12,500 to support two foodbanks in the borough during the coronavirus crisis.

The funds will be shared by Newham Foodbank and Community Food Enterprise, as part of a £50,000 donation by the Royal Docks airport to nine foodbanks across east London.

Foodbanks are playing a critical role in getting essential supplies to vulnerable people and families impacted by the pandemic, which, along with schools and other services being closed, has created unprecedented demand.

The Newham foodbank has experienced a surge in demand of more than 300 per cent across its centres - a challenge exacerbated by a fall in individual donations due to social distancing guidance.

LCA chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “East London is renowned for its resilience and the efforts by the men and women in local foodbanks is truly superhuman and inspiring.

“They represent the best of our community and I am proud that the airport, even in a small way, will be able to help individuals and families receive support.”

LCA announced on March 25 that it was suspending all commercial and private flights, with a decision on re-opening to be informed by government advice and communication with its airlines.

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The airport, which is one mile from the NHS Nightingale, remains available to support emergency services and military in the national relief effort.

Minister for Aviation Kelly Tolhurst said: “London City Airport’s act of kindness shows that, despite the considerable challenges facing the aviation sector right now, businesses and those working in aviation are still supporting their local communities.”

LCA established a community fund last year to donate £75,000 annually to groups in east London.

Given the severe impact of coronavirus, that amount has been increased this year with £50,000 made available immediately for foodbanks in Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich.

The extra funds mean LCA will have provided more than £165,000 in grants over the past year.