Ludlow Food Bank gave out 141 food parcels to people in need during January to March 2021, and the main reason people need help is still problems with benefit payments – a problem raised in past reports.
Ruth Davies, co-ordinator at Ludlow food bank, said they have been able to carry on operating thanks to the help from dedicated volunteers.
“The last three months have in many ways been a continuation of 2020,” she said. “For most of the first three months we have continued to be in lockdown, and many people’s lives have been restricted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
“Thankfully the food bank still has a good number of volunteers who are well enough to be able to come in for their two hour sessions.”
The food bank’s 140 food parcels contained enough food to feed 332 people for at least a week – one food parcel recipient was able to make his last for a month.
When the number of repeat parcels have been removed, the food bank has helped 249 separate individuals in and around Ludlow so far this year.
Ruth said: “Altogether we have given out 34 repeat parcels, and one family has had five parcels. When people have repeat parcels, it is usually because they are going through a particularly difficult spell.
“It may be that a person has experienced a major trauma and has been suffering so much from anxiety that they have been unable to leave the house.
“Someone like this will be referred to us by professionals working with them who may ask for regular repeat parcels. It may be that someone has lost their job, and it is taking some time for their benefits to be organised.”
Ruth said there are concerns among members of the food poverty alliance that was we come out of lockdown, more people will be needing to turn to local food banks.
She said: “It could be that many businesses close and unemployment increases. Thankfully we have good systems in place, and should be able to cope with an increase in demand.
“We have also been given very generous cash donations and have been able to access some grants during 2020.
“We may lose some of our volunteers as pressure of work increases for them, however we do have a waiting list of people who would like to volunteer with us, but we have not been able to train them during lockdown. Hopefully we will be able to start training people soon.”
As well as giving out food in the parcels, the food bank was offering £5 vouchers which could be used at the butchers and greengrocers in Ludlow.
Ruth said: “In total we have given away 406 fruit and veg vouchers and 409 butcher vouchers.”