We’re asking our generous band of readers to support the work of food banks in helping people across Shropshire and Mid Wales who might be finding Christmas a particularly difficult time of year.
Across the region, food banks will be preparing special hampers to ensure that people who are struggling financially will be able to enjoy the sort of Christmas most of us take for granted.
Shrewsbury Food Bank Plus, based at Barnabas Church Centre in Longden Coleham, will distribute 200 hampers this year in recognition of the growing number of people who have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Manager Karen Williams said the number of families receiving help from the food bank had more than doubled compared to the same time last year.
“We are helping 201 people a week at the moment, compared to 96 during the same period last year,” said Karen.
She said the charity was also bracing itself for a sharp increase in demand in the New Year, when she expects to see a large increase in unemployment.
“We have seen a noticeable change in the number of people who are losing their jobs, or people whose jobs are being furloughed, whose incomes no longer match their outgoings,” said Karen.
“We are also seeing people who have seen their incomes decrease, a lot of self-employed people, and people whose mortgage holidays are coming to an end.”
Karen said that Christmas was often a particularly difficult time of year for people facing financial hardship, due to the social pressures placed upon them.
“People suffer from relationship poverty, as well as financial poverty,” she said. “Knowing that other people are celebrating, and that you can’t, can be very difficult.”
Karen said the Christmas hampers would not just be distributed to people who were receiving food supplies from them, but also to others in need of a little extra help over the Christmas period.
As well non-perishable food, she also appealed for vouchers so people could buy fresh food in the days before Christmas. Hampers will include Christmas gifts for families, although these must be new.
Donations can be taken into the Barnabas centre from 9.30am to 12pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, and to Hope Church in Grafton Mews, Harlescott Grange, from 10am to midday on Wednesdays.
The Barnabas centre will also be open from 8am to 9pm for a special donations day on December 21.
WHERE TO DONATE:
Mondays, 10.30am to 12.30pm at Bridgnorth Food Bank, Number Seven, West Castle Street. Also: Co-op, Low Town; Bridgnorth Town Council Offices; Charlie’s at the Old Mill; Barclays Bank, High Street; Sainsbury’s; St Mary Magdalene’s Church.
Collections at the market hall, Church Street; St Mary’s Church; Co-op; Select and Save.
Rockspring Community Centre, Sandford Road; Also Tesco, Applegreen petrol station, and One Stop, Tower Street.
Market Drayton Food Bank, The Parish Rooms, Church Street. Also: Asda, Stafford Street; Co-op, Eccleshall Road, Loggerheads; Morrison’s, Maer Street; Sainsbury’s Local, Shrewsbury Road; and Savers Health & Beauty, Oak Court.
Royal Navy Club, Tuesdays 9.30-12.30am. Also: Nationwide, HSBC and Samuels dry cleaners.
Oswestry Food Bank, 56, Beatrice Street, Monday and Thursday, 11am-4pm. Also: Sainsbury’s, Oswestry; Tesco, Ellesmere; and St Oswald’s Vicarage, Penylan Lane.
Shrewsbury Food Bank, Barnabas Centre, Longden Coleham, 9.30am-12pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Also at Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Asda stores.
Telford Crisis Support, 78-83, Severn Walk, Sutton Hill, 10am-4pm weekdays. Also: Co-op, Priorslee, Stirchley and Ironbridge; One Stop,
Shifnal; Morrison’s, Overdale; Sainsbury’s, Forge Retail Park; Leek United Building Society, Oakengates; Park Lane Centre; and Oak Tree Centre, Lightmoor.
Welshpool & Newtown:
Welshpool & District Food Bank, Kingswood Church, 10am-4pm weekdays, 10am-1pm Saturdays. Also: Sainsbury’s, Welshpool and Newtown; and Morrison’s, Welshpool.
Newtown: Salvation Army Shop, open 10am-12pm and 1pm-3.30pm Tuesday and Thursday.
Whitchurch Food Bank, Bargates Hall, Church Street, 9.30-11.30am, Tuesday and Friday. Also: Sainsbury’s, London Road; Tesco, White Lion Meadow; Co-Op, 83 Isherwoods Way, Wem.