Rising toll of Leeds families in need of food help

Volunteers from Leeds West Foodbank and mascot Rocky the dog at the Breeze Festival in Farnley.
Volunteers from Leeds West Foodbank and mascot Rocky the dog at the Breeze Festival in Farnley.
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Foodbanks in Leeds are preparing for a rise in the number of desperate families in need of emergency food in the final few weeks of the summer holidays.

Hundreds of children across the city have needed food parcels to stop them going to bed hungry over the last month.

And there are fears even more families will be forced to turn to the city’s network of foodbanks as they struggle to balance their finances in the final few weeks of the summer break.

Lucy Pitkin, co-ordinator at West Leeds Foodbank, said that parents are struggling to pay for new school uniforms, shoes and food for their children.

And she is calling on even more readers to support the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Feed A Family campaign over the next week.

Lucy said: “We are seeing more and more families turning to us for support as the summer break draws to a close.

“The start of the school term is very difficult for families especially when it comes to buying new uniforms and shoes for their children.

“A lot of families have already had a difficult time over the summer.

“This is just going to get worse as people are getting into more and more debt to get the things that they need.

“There are children out there who are suffering and it is not their fault or their family’s fault - it is just the situation they are in.”

The team from West Leeds Foodbank recently attended Breeze Festival events in the city to help boost their stock levels as they prepare to open a new mobile foodbank in Farnley next week.

More than 4,000 kilos of food has been distributed to desperate people who are struggling to make ends meet since the YEP launched its Feed A Family campaign last month.

Nearly 20 double decker buses worth of food have been distributed to help feed some of the city’s most vulnerable residents since September.

However, this is the first summer that the city’s four Trussell Trust foodbanks have been open.

Families whose children receive free school meals during term-time are particularly feeling the strain, so the foodbanks are under extra pressure to keep their stock levels up.

* The new foodbank will be open at Old Farnley Community Centre on Tuesday morning. Families who are struggling can visit Armley One Stop Centre and Farnley Children’s Centre for more information.

* Tell us how you are supporting our campaign by emailing laura.bowyer@ypn.co.uk or debbie.leigh@ypn.co.uk.


East Leeds: Food donations can be made at Oxford Place Methodist Centre, Oxford Place, Leeds, on Mon and Thur 2pm-4pm.

North Leeds: Food donations can be made at Moor Allerton Methodist Church, Alderton Rise, on Mon, Wed and Fri from 11am to 1pm or Lister Hill Baptist Church, Horsforth, 2-4pm on Wed and Fri and 10am to noon on Sat

South Leeds: Food donations can be made at Middleton Methodist Church on Wed from 9.30am to 4pm.

West Leeds: Food donations can be made to 13 Redlane Mill, Farsley on Tue from 10am to 4pm, Bramley’s Tesco store or at a special collection point in Pudsey’s Asda store, Morrish Solicitors, in Pudsey, and Mill Kitchen, in Farsley.


Milk (UHT or powdered)

Sugar (500g)

Fruit juice (carton)

Tinned meat/fish

Tinned veg/fruit


Pasta sauces

Sponge Pudding (tinned)


Rice Pudding (tinned)

Tea bags/instant coffee

Instant Mashed potato



Biscuits/snack bars

Toilet roll

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