YEP readers’ generosity helped to feed hundreds of families in Leeds who have been struggling over the winter period.
The YEP teamed up with foodbank charity the Trussell Trust for its annual Feed a Family campaign and donations from community groups, businesses and individuals helped to make life easier for people in desperate need.
John Newbould, volunteer operations manager at the trust’s Leeds South and East branch, said: “In the centres I worked at there was an increase even in demand, even as late as last week. But the other side of the coin is we had some of the most amazing donations we’ve ever seen.
“One of the more upsetting cases dealt with was that of a man whose partner had left him, and their three children, without any access to the child benefit.
“The man had recently started a job but had to work a month in-hand so there was no money until the new year.
“The foodbank was able to give him and his children a larger than usual food parcel and also to supply the children with a few presents.
“Another case was of a grandmother who had her grandchild left with her. Her son had made no provision for the child and the lady had no money for nappies, baby food, and so on.
“The foodbank was able to provide food both for the lady and child, which included baby food and nappies.”
From December 12 to December 23 the foodbank distribution sites provided 250 adults and 202 children in crisis with food and necessities.
The branch also donated almost a tonne of food to homeless charities, 200 food parcels to a charity that provided a Christmas dinner for pensioners, toys to a local church and food to a children’s charity.
The Leeds North and West branch was still counting its vouchers from Christmas, but gave out at least 758 three-day emergency food supplies throughout December, with at least seven tonnes of food donations.
Distribution sessions were especially busy. One that usually helps 20 people saw 39 attend.
Wendy Doyle, project manager for the Leeds South and East branch, said: “I want to send a big thank you to all the community groups, churches, companies and individuals who made food and monetary donations to the foodbank. The monies would be spent supporting the running costs of the foodbank.”
The trust warned that demand for foodbanks continues to increase and encouraged the public to make it a new year’s resolution to donate.
Trussell Trust Leeds South and East
250 adults fed
202 children fed
1 tonne of food given to a homeless charity
200 parcels for pensioners’ Christmas dinner
Trussell Trust Leeds North and West
758 food parcels given out
7 tonnes of food donations