Foodbanks are bracing themselves for a record Christmas as more families than ever will turn to them for help.
The Trussell Trust, which runs a network of foodbanks across the city, has said December is the worst time of year for people going hungry.
And today the Yorkshire Evening Post is calling on businesses, community groups and residents across the city to dig deep and support the return of our Feed A Family campaign.
We are calling on you to donate to the city’s foodbanks to support some of our most vulnerable families in Leeds who desperately turn to the service to make ends meet.
Last year we revealed a staggering 2,000 people were set to rely on the support of the city’s network of foodbanks over the festive period - and 47 per cent of those would be children.
And there are fears this year’s Christmas could be even busier for the service.
Regional development officer for Yorkshire and the Humberside Matt Cameron said: “We’re really thankful to the Yorkshire Evening Post for their campaign.
“Christmas is a particularly stark time of year to face going hungry.
“Last year, one mum at a Trussell Trust foodbank on Christmas Eve burst into tears when the volunteers gave her a teddy bear to give to her young son, alongside emergency food.
“She thought she wouldn’t be able to give him anything for Christmas, and the foodbank were able to give her family hope, as well as emergency food.
“Sadly, this mum is far from alone.
“This could be the foodbank network’s busiest Christmas yet, so we would really value any support you can offer as we help stop families and individuals from going hungry this Christmas.”
The charity gave out 6,721 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis in Yorkshire and Humberside last December, which was a 27 per cent increase compared to the average for the rest of the financial year.
Analysis of five years of Trussell Trust foodbank data, by the University of Hull, Coppelia and AAM Associates, showed a spike during the winter months, with the highest number of referrals in the two weeks just before Christmas.
Adrian Curtis, foodbank network director at the Trussell Trust, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Trussell Trust foodbanks have always reported that they provide more support to people in winter, and we anticipate being exceptionally busy again this year.”
The charity is looking for food parcels containing cereal, soup, pasta, rice, pasta sauce, beans, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea, coffee, tinned fruit and biscuits.
The trust also accepts toiletries and hygiene products.
HOW YOU CAN HELP FEED A FAMILY
The charity is looking for food parcels containing non-perishable goods.
Donations of goods such as cereal, soup, tea and tinned produce can be made to the following foodbanks across Leeds:
The Trussell Leeds South and East drop-off point is at Unit 16, Ashbrooke Business Park, Parkside Lane
The Leeds North and West drop-off point is at 62a Burley Road.
For more details about individual foodbank drop-off sessions visit leedsnorthandwest.foodbank.org.uk and leedssouthandeast.foodbank.org.uk.