A number of food banks in the UK have faced backlash following announcements that they would close on Monday because of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Trussell Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that supports a nationwide network of food banks, has been forced to defend the decisions made independently by a number of its branches.
The Government announced Monday would be an official bank holiday to allow people across Britain to pay their respects to the Queen.
The Stoke-on-Trent food bank announced on Tuesday that it would be closing three distribution centres as the nation marks the day of the Queen’s funeral.
Branches in East Elmbridge, East Grinstead, Grantham, Ringwood and South Sefton were among the others to follow suit.
The Trussell Trust’s Wimbledon branch has meanwhile made a U-turn, after tweeting on Tuesday morning it would be closed to allow their staff and workers to show their respects.
Its now deleted tweet said: “Our condolences go out to the Royal family at this sad time.
“All food bank hubs will be closed on Monday 19th September due to funeral. We will reopen from Tuesday 20th Sept.
“We do normally close on Bank Holidays and as this is now a bank holiday we have decided to allow our staff and workers the opportunity to show their respects.”
It has since announced “due to the overwhelming support we have received we now have volunteers to run our Monday session as usual.
“As a reminder we are not a government service and run solely on people’s donations of time, money and food.”
UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming support we have recieved we now have volunteers to run our Monday session as usual. As a reminder we are not a government service and run solely on peoples donations of time, money and food.
— Wimbledon Food Bank (@WimbledonFB) September 13, 2022
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “Food banks in our network run sessions on different days and at different times.
“Food banks are best placed to make the right decision for their communities and will ensure everyone who needs support can access it as they do with every bank holiday.
“As each food bank is an independent charity, we’d encourage people who need support to contact their local food bank to check their opening hours.”