Foodbanks warn they can’t keep up with demand for help

Volunteers Robert Field and Roy Naylor pack food at the Leeds and South East Food Bank in Lincoln Green.
2nd August 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Volunteers Robert Field and Roy Naylor pack food at the Leeds and South East Food Bank in Lincoln Green. 2nd August 2017. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
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With predictions that more than 4,000 primary school children could be going hungry this summer, people are being urged to donate items to foodbanks as part of our Feed a Family campaign.

Workers and volunteers that are staffing the Trussell Trust’s 19 foodbank points across Leeds, which are 90 per cent dependent on donations from the public, have warned that they are giving out food faster than they can get it.

Samantha Stapley, operations manager for England at The Trussell Trust, said: “Over a third of all the food distributed by foodbanks in our network consistently goes to children, and our new figures show five to 11 year-olds are more likely than other children to receive a foodbank’s help. This highlights just how close to crisis many families are living.

“We can all make a difference – checking which food your local foodbank is running low on and donating to make sure emergency food is available when people are referred to help is a simple and effective way to get involved. You could be helping a family that lives on your street.”

A typical food parcel will include dried and non perishable kitchen cupboard essential items such as breakfast cereals, soup, pasta, rice, pasta sauce, tinned beans, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tinned fruit, tea or coffee, sugar, biscuits and snacks.

They can also include other items that families are in need of such as toilet rolls, washing powder, toiletries, sanitary products and even pet food.

There are two main foodbanks in Leeds, one which covers the North and West of the city and in turn has seven distribution points and one for the South and East which has 12 venues where people can pick up parcels.

Due to the demographics of the areas covered and the differing nature of clients and needs at each session, the products that the foodbanks require also differ.

Leeds North and West tells us that it is urgently in need of tinned fruit (400grams), UHT milk (one litre bottles or cartons), sugar, jam, tinned vegetables, longlife fruit juice and sponge puddings.

Over at South and East they are struggling to source tinned fruit, custard, coffee, sugar, tinned or mashed potatoes and hygiene items.

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