Leeds food banks could face back-to-school rush

Food banks in Leeds could see a rush for emergency packs at the end of the summer holidays as children head back to school, according to a service manager.

Tuesday, 28th August 2018, 6:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th August 2018, 6:21 pm
Tricia Ryder.

Although “holiday hunger” traditionally means more families are turning to the services to fill the gap of free school meals, Leeds North and West Foodbank distribution centre manager Tricia Ryder thinks that the weeks following the break will also be busy.

She said this is because a “core group” who are desperate for meals, but do not want to use food banks while their children are at home because of embarrassment, seek out help at the beginning of term instead when youngsters are out of the house.

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She added: “The first couple of weeks into September we quite often see that core group who didn’t come mainly because they didn’t want to bring the kids.”

Expenses such as buying new school uniforms or unexpected bills may also send them beyond their financial means.

Speaking today, Mrs Ryder said that the Moortown distribution centre had only 12 jars of pasta sauce.

Each family gets two jars, so only six can be taken for the whole of the area during the next drop-in session.

Similarly, the same distribution centre only has four toilet rolls and three bottles of shampoo left for the next group of referrals.

Items which are needed include soup, coffee, biscuits and toiletries.

The YEP recently re-started its Feed A Family campaign, which calls on readers and businesses to donate essentials to services catering for those in need across the city.