A British food bank that planned to close next Monday in observance of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral changed course and will remain open following backlash over its initial decision.
The reversal by Wimbledon FoodBank came just hours apart Tuesday and was spurned by social media outrage.
“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,” the food pantry first posted on Facebook.
The backlash was swift.
Kwajo Tweneboa, a UK housing activist, tweeted, “Just because the Queen is having her funeral doesn’t mean those worse [off] should be expected to starve.”
“This is a dreadful decision! It’s like you’re saying, “The Queen is dead- so starve, peasants!” one Brit commented on Facebook.
“It’s very sad and disturbing that people will support a funeral for an extremely rich woman they don’t know that is being paid for by their hard earned money in favour of an essential service that QUITE LITERALLY feeds people who can’t afford it,” another wrote.
Just a few hours later, the Wimbledon FoodBank reversed the announcement.
“Due to the overwhelming support we have recieved we now have volunteers to run our Monday session as usual,” the food bank tweeted. “As a reminder we are not a government service and run solely on peoples donations of time, money and food.”
Though it received the most recoil, the Wimbledon FoodBank was not the only soup kitchen to close for the funeral. The East Elmbridge Food Bank, the Stoke-on-Trent food bank branch and the Keynsham Food Bank branch all announced they’d observe the bank holiday.
The UK has been experiencing a cost-of-living crisis since early 2021, according to Parliament. On Sept. 2, the House of Commons Library revealed the country reached its highest inflation in 40 years this July.
The food bank closures come as many Englanders across social media urged mourners to donate to the pantries rather than buy flowers to lay on Buckingham Palace’s seemingly endless field of bouquets.