STRATFORD’S Foodbank is facing an exceptionally high demand – putting pressure on food stocks, specifically short shelf life items such as UHT milk and UHT juice.
Supplies of rice are also running low. These items are essential to the charity, enabling them to provide nutritionally balanced emergency food parcels to those facing crisis in the Stratford area.
Foodbank Manager Marion Homer said: “Unfortunately, our volunteers are coping with a high and growing need for our services.
“After a 57% growth in demand in 2017, due we believe to the introduction of Universal Credit, we had hoped it would fall back. However, 2018 saw a further 11% increase, and in the early weeks of 2019 we have seen another worrying rise. In January we distributed a total of 344 emergency food parcels, compared to 186 in the same period last year.
“What’s even more concerning is the number of children we support, reflecting the trend that more and more families are needing our help. The percentage of children receiving our parcels rose from an average of 27%, over the lifetime of our foodbank, to 41% in January this year. In real figures we fed 140 children this January compared to 55 last January.
“It is against this growth in demand that we once again seek the help of Stratford residents. Fortunately, local people continue to be generous and food donations have also risen. In 2017 we received over £50,000 worth of food and in 2018 that climbed to over £58,000. However, we do need to ask for continued help, and right now we badly need donations of UHT milk, UHT juice and rice.”
Donations of tinned and packet food (no fresh or chilled items) can be left at the Foodbank’s collection baskets at Tesco, Morrison’s, Waitrose, Budgens in Bidford, and at Holy Trinity Church. Items can also be bought directly to the Foodbank’s warehouse on the car park at Tesco, opposite the Click ‘n’ Collect area on a Monday and Wednesday afternoon between 2pm and 3.30pm.
About Stratford upon Avon Foodbank:
- Since starting in Jan 2013, Stratford’s foodbank has distributed 10,264 food parcels, 27% of which were for children.
- In 2017, the foodbank distributed 2,163 parcels – a 57% year on year rise
- In 2018 the foodbank distributed 2411 parcels – an 11% year on year rise
- In 2017 30% of parcels went to children, in 2018 31% went to children
- An average 200 parcels a month are currently distributed
- Most clients visit the foodbank a maximum of two times.
- Food parcels are designed for short-term emergency use, each parcel provides three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced tinned and packet food
- Foodbank vouchers are distributed through referral agencies such as Citizens Advice, and Stratford District Council and various other community health services.
- In January 2019 children represented 41% of all parcels distributed.
Find out more at https://stratforduponavon.foodbank.org.uk/