Volunteers in Croydon have launched an interactive online map to help people get access to foodbanks in the borough.

The map was set up by people working with the Croydon Covid Mutual Aid (CCMA) and Croydon Volunteer Action (CVA) groups amid a surge in demand for foodbanks during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

The map allows residents to identify their nearest food bank or soup kitchen, with contact details provided so that people needing to access the foodbank can refer themselves.

The interactive, online map also lets residents find out how to donate much-needed goods to their nearest foodbank.

Your Local Guardian: Screenshot of the Croydon foodbank mapScreenshot of the Croydon foodbank map

“This map is super helpful because we can be more coordinated across the borough and ensure that we aren’t over-stretching our resources in terms of supporting people who may be some distance from our project but could be helped by a closer organisation,” Laura Whittall of South Norwood Community Kitchen said.

“It facilitates a more joined-up approach so we can fill the gaps where there might be a lack of help in some areas of Croydon. It is also just great to see who is doing what where and reach out to other projects to share best practice and support,” she added.

Rowenna Davis, a CCMA organiser, meanwhile reflected that foodbank volunteers were the “unsung heroes” of the coronavirus crisis:

“Every day they are putting themselves at risk to help feed people in need, mostly for no pay and without PPE. Hopefully this map can help them work together more easily,” she said.

CVA’s Head of Communications Sarah Burnsalso praised the new resource, saying it would “make a real difference” in helping people access food when they most needed it.

As the crisis continues CCMA and CVA are convening fortnightly meetings of Croydon’s foodbank and soup kitchens to help coordinate support efforts.

To access the map, go to: www.tinyurl.com/ycqvmbfb or email croydoncovid19ma@gmail.com.