Food banks in the UK reported that demand had tripled in March this year as the coronavirus lockdown threw millions out of work. Many food banks faced an urgent need for money to buy extra food and launched appeals through crowdfunding websites.

The public response was impressive, with a massive surge in support. Nearly a million people volunteered to help the NHS and local support centres.

This surge in generosity has led to hope that the pandemic signals a transition to a kinder and more humane society after the pandemic. To find out whether that might be the case, we developed a piece of data scraping software to chart the generosity of the public in response to appeals by food banks. We looked at how much was being donated during the pandemic to see if the goodwill was sustained.

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