Businesses are being urged to give their support to a local foodbank as the six weeks holidays approach.
The East Durham FEED project has previously reported a sharp rise in demand for its services and is urging businesses to give their support over the summer shutdown, when pupils and students will be off school for six weeks.
The food donation service is currently distributing over 100 food parcels every week to local residents in financial distress.
Many of the recipients have been adversely affected by welfare reform and the roll of Universal Credit.
Since the beginning of 2019, 2130 food parcels have been distributed with 2095 people receiving support, an increase of around 64 per cent since the same period last year.
People are being referred for support for various reasons including victims of domestic abuse, those with illness or disability including those suffering with cancer, individuals losing work or being made redundant, unforeseen changes to family circumstances including bereavement.
The trust is also seeing an increase in in work poverty and low income.
Lindsey Wood, Deputy Manager at East Durham Trust, said: “We are helping more and more people in the area who need our food parcels to ensure they are able to feed their families.
“Such is the rise in demand for our service that we are desperately in need of food donations from the business community.
“Every donation is gratefully received and will make a real difference to people in the area.
“With the school holidays only 10 days or so away, we are expecting a significant increase in demand for help, with many parents struggling to provide food for their children for such a long period of time.
“We would say if you can help, however small the donation might be, it would be very gratefully received.”
Local residents access the foodbank via referral through professional agencies only, ensuring all of their needs are being met. When the Trust is approached by individuals they are supported by trained staff and volunteers with advice around benefits, housing and debt.
The volunteer led project relies on donations from the public, who have always been extremely supportive to date. Unfortunately stock is turning around quicker than ever and it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep the shelves full.
Donations of the following items would be very gratefully received: Non-perishable food items such as tinned meats and fish, tinned vegetables, tomatoes and fruit, tinned beans, cereals, jars of sauces, pasta, rice, coffee, sugar, dried noodles and snacks etc. Nappies, female hygiene products and toiletries are also required.
For more information about the work of East Durham Trust please visit www.eastdurhamtrust.org.uk
You can also call 0191 5693511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org