Ludlow foodbank set for busiest year on record

Ludlow Foodbank has reported its busiest year since it started.

Ludlow Food bank co-ordinator Ruth Davies
Ludlow Food bank co-ordinator Ruth Davies

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent job losses, the organisation said it has never been so busy and has given out nearly 450 food parcels so far throughout the year.

The foodbank, which serves Ludlow and surrounding areas, has so far this year given out more than 427 food parcels, with enough food to feed 902 people for a week.

In 2019 they gave out the 427th food parcel on December 5, and prior to that 315 was the most food parcels they had given out in any year.

Ruth Davies, co-ordinator at the foodbank, said the year has been a challenge for many.

“This year has been very difficult for so many people, and often the time of financial difficulty has been quite prolonged,” she said.

“We have given 173 repeat parcels this year, and 20 households have had more than three parcels from us. When all the repeats are removed, we have helped 538 different individuals of all age groups.

“Single men still make up the largest group we help, (27.4 per cent) but if we combine single parent families and two parent families, that would make up the largest group at 38.4 per cent.

“The total number of children we have helped is 328.”

Ruth said the foodbank was expecting an increase in family referrals in August, but it didn’t happen. She said she suspects this is because the free school meal vouchers were continued during the summer holidays following a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford.

Warned

April, March, January and July were the busiest months, and in May after a hectic time, they decided to open five days a week instead of four days.

Ruth said the next few months will continue to be busy in the lead up to Christmas.

“October is usually a wonderful time for us, as many churches, schools and other groups have been blessing us with harvest collections,” she added.

“Some harvest collections are still happening, but as many places are still closed, we may not see as much food as usual coming in.

“We are being warned that there will be a lot of people made redundant in the near future, so we have been working very hard behind the scenes to ensure that we will be able to respond to the need as it arises.

“Then of course, we need to be ready for Christmas which is always a very busy time. I want to thank all our volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make up food parcels, deliver those that cannot be collected, sort out stock, collect donations from several sources, go shopping for items we need and go to local grocers to pay for our vouchers.”

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