Telford foodbank in plea for donations as it struggles to cope with demand

Foodbanks are facing a 'constant battle' to support families in need as the cost-of-living crisis gathers pace.

Shelves at Telford Crisis Support are empty as crisis rumbles on
Shelves at Telford Crisis Support are empty as crisis rumbles on

And the bleak situation has prompted Telford Crisis Support to make a desperate plea for more food donations as they fight to keep up with the increased demand for their services.

June Walker from Asda Donnington Wood, and Sharon Fenn (right) from Asda Telford town centre, join operations manager Simon Lellow from Telford Crisis Support, to help out in the food bank

The service has operated a Foodbank in Telford and Wrekin to provide emergency food, toiletries and clothing to those most in need since 2013.

But operations manager Simon Lellow says the situation is getting more desperate and even those who once provided food donations are now feeling the pinch.

"We thought the Covid years would be the maximum it ever got to in terms of how bad things were," he said. "But the cost-of-living crisis at the moment is really kicking in hard now and has been for several months.

"Effectively, we are sending out more than twice the amount of food than we are getting in and that's not sustainable.

"We are having to dig in hard to our reserves for food. We used to be in a position where we had a floating stock of the staple foods such as tinned beans and soup but that's not the case now."

Telford Crisis Support needs people to help them to help others

"Items stop on the shelf for a day and go out again. We really need donations so we can cope with demand.

"We have the operations, the capacity, the volunteers and the ability to distribute the food but we need the donations desperately.

"But it's a challenge and it's not just us. It's food banks up and down the country. Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire is not unique in this problem."

Receiving more donations in itself is proving to be a challenge.

"People's shopping habits have changed through lockdown in the sense there are a lot more people doing click and collect, so they don't necessarily go into the supermarket," Simon added. "That means we don't get as many donations inside at collection points.

"And critically, many people who might have helped previously just haven't got the money themselves to do it now.

"They can help a little bit but at a lesser level.

"Many won't have been in the position before. Working families have been pulled into it as well because of the unexpected hikes in fuel and energy.

"So it's a constant battle to get the donations in and support those who need feeding. Last year we provided120,000 meals, which was up from 90,000 the previous year.

"Now we are up to 74,000 already in 2022 and we aren't half way through, so it could be 150,000 before another hike.

"It's a tough old time for people and it's affecting everyone. Working families have been pulled into it as well because of the unexpected hikes."

Anyone who can help Telford Crisis Support, which also runs a school uniform project and baby bank, with tinned donations, can find out more about donation points at telfordcrisissupport.org.uk

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