A food bank charity has started using digital lockers to provide support to homeless people.
Food parcels are left in lockers in St Leonards, East Sussex, which clients can access using a code, reports the BBC news. The charity ‘Surviving the Streets’, based in Hastings, hopes it will overcome the stigma some feel towards visiting a food bank.
The charity’s co-founder, Pete Robinson, said: “You turn up when you like, you just come and collect a lovely parcel.” Pete started the charity with his brother James, who also sees the lockers as a solution to the restrictions in place due to Covid-19.
Pete added: “We have a lot of volunteers, then the pandemic kicks in and everyone’s got to self-isolate. We had to get a solution because there were so many people that needed support, so it was a light bulb moment.” As well as food for struggling families, the lockers will be used to distribute help to the homeless.
Daniel Bowen, a volunteer who himself spent seven years living on the streets, said the lockers could be a lifeline. “Say if you get kicked out two, three o’clock in the morning, suddenly become homeless, you’ve got nothing. Come to one of these things, you’ve got 24-hour access for everything, sleeping bags, tents, hot food, clothing”.
Surviving the Streets would like to see the idea rolled out across the country, especially in locations such as railway stations and blocks of flats.