The impact of COVID-19 on people facing hardship

The rapid research that we conducted revealed changes in our clientele and provided us with important information on the difficulties that our beneficiaries have to encounter due to the current situation. The coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the increasing health inequalities people experience in our society. Life expectancy is unacceptably lower for people living in poverty and those experiencing food insecurity find it harder to manage their health conditions. COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on those people who were already struggling to make ends meet. There is an urgent need for all partners as part of recovering from COVID-19 to prioritise and address poverty and inequalities and ensure people have access to the money and food they need to live an equal life. 

Research discoveries

Our team interviewed 43 of our beneficiaries to explore how the coronavirus outbreak affected the individuals and families accessing CFINE's support services. We found that the pandemic caused great uncertainty, families are unsure about what the future may bring. Participants of the research also shared their anxiety around leaving the house and going shopping for essentials, such as food. 

Key findings

Due to the pandemic, we had to transform CFINE's food bank into and emergency food delivery service. We were curious to research how our beneficiary base changed due to our adaptation to the current situation. You can see below the key discoveries that we made during the interviews: 

  • 62% of the sample group were females – which is in contrast to our regular Food Bank users who are around 70% male;  
  • 62% of the group have children at home;
  • 79% were unemployed;
  • 62% of participants anticipate they will need to continue receiving parcels post-pandemic;
  • 47% of people were unaware of CFINE pre COVID;
  • For 53%, this was the first time they had accessed an emergency food parcel;
  • 77% of people indicated they would prefer a delivery service going forward;
  • 14% of participants requested and have been passed to CFINE’s SAFE team to receive financial advice and support.