We’re asking our generous band of readers to support charities working tirelessly to support those struggling to put food on the table.
The campaign has been launched just days after one food bank in the county experienced a record week, with demands on its services having almost doubled compared to the same period last year.
Many food banks are supporting more people than ever this year after record numbers of people in Shropshire and Mid Wales sought assistance during lockdown.
The effects of the pandemic continue to be felt with the end of both furlough and the temporary increase in Universal Credit, while rising energy bills are putting more people under additional financial strain.
Karen Williams, manager of Shrewsbury Food Bank Plus, said the week before last the organisation had supported 239 individuals, up from about 125 for the same period last year.
She said a growing number of people from professional and working backgrounds were seeking help, prompting the food bank to open in the evening.
“We’re seeing people I never thought we would see in a food bank," said Mrs Williams, adding that recent clients have included teachers, an architect and even a high-flying banker.
She said even some employers had been referring their staff to food banks for support.
Liz Jermy, of Oswestry & Borders Food Bank, said more than 7,500 people had received its help since the start of the pandemic.
Last Christmas the food bank provided Christmas hampers for 700 adults and 1,000 children, she added.
Mrs Jermy said the rising cost of living was a major problem a the moment.
“Everything is getting more expensive,” she said. “Food is more expensive, fuel is more expensive, but incomes are not going up at the same rate.
Mrs Jermy added that much of the support available at the height of the pandemic had now come to an end.
The Shropshire Star would like to support the efforts of charities and many others by encouraging people to donate food and toiletries.
What to donate
Any Christmas items need to have ‘best before’ dates beyond December.
Some food banks will not accept festive items after a certain date to ensure it can all be distributed in time for Christmas.
The food must not contain any alcohol (bear in mind for mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas puddings and chocolates including selection boxes).
Breakfast cereal (preferably non-sugared)
Milk (UHT or powder, preferably semi-skimmed)
Fruit Juice (long-life)
Small jars of coffee
Tinned meat (ham,corned beef, Spam)
Tinned ready meals (chilli, meatballs, stew)
Tinned vegetarian ready meals (curry, ratatouille, macaroni cheese)
Packets of mashed potato/tinned potatoes
Tinned fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon & sardines)
Pasta sauce/cooking sauces
Tinned fruit (in juice preferably)
Tinned rice pudding/custard
Healthy snacks (small boxes of raisins/apricots)
Biscuits, crackers, crispbreads
Where to donate
7, West Castle Street, Bridgnorth, WV16 4AB. Telephone: 07960 285520. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open every Monday 10.30am to 12.30pm. Food can also be donated at the Co-op in Low Town, Bridgnorth Town Council offices, Charlie’s at the Old Mill, Barclays Bank in High Street, Sainsbury’s and churches in the town.
Church Street, Church Stretton, SY6 6DQ. Telephone: 07561 693870. Open: Fridays 2.30pm to 4pm. Donations can be taken to the Co-op in Lion Meadow.
Food Share Project, Telford
Rampart Court Retail Park, Rampart Way, Telford, TF3 4AS. Telephone: 07775 505434. Email: email@example.com. Open: Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm, Sunday 10am to 2pm.
The parish rooms, Church Street, Market Drayton, TF9 1AF. Telephone: 01630 654007. Open: Tuesdays and Fridays, 9am to 10.30am. Food can also be donated at Asda in Stafford Street, Co-op in Loggerheads, Morrison’s in Maer Lane, Sainsbury’s in Shrewsbury Road, and Savers Health & Beauty in Oak Court.
The Royal Navy Club, Bellmans Yard, TF10 7AJ. Open Friday morning 9.30am to 11.30am. Telephone: 01952 811655. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oswestry & Borders
56 Beatrice Street, Oswestry, SY11 1QW. Telephone: 01691 671940. Email: email@example.com. Open: Mondays and Thursdays 11am to 2pm. Donations can also be taken to Sainsbury’s in Oswestry, Tesco in Ellesmere, St Oswald’s vicarage, and Stan’s Supermarket in St Martin’s. Many churches in the town also accept donations.
Shrewsbury Food Bank Plus
Barnabas Community Projects, Longden Coleham, Shrewsbury, SY3 7DN Telephone: 01743 343336 or 07421745857. Open for donations: Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, 9.30am to 12pm. Donations can also be taken to the town’s branches of Asda, Co-op, Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s.
Welshpool & District
Church Rd, Welshpool, SY21 7LN. Telephone: 01938 536379. Open: 8am to 8pm, please leave donations under arches at the entrance; donations can also be taken to Tesco, Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s in Welshpool, and Tesco in Newtown.
Bargates Hall, Church Street, Whitchurch, SY13 1LR. Telephone: 01948 663943. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open: Tuesdays and Fridays, 9.30am to 11.30am.