Last year, Telford Crisis Support provided families with more than 100,000 meals along with an extra 16,000 breakfast packs, ensuring a nutritious and healthy start to the day for school pupils.
At the same time, Telford and Wrekin Interfaith Council supported 11,232 people with food parcels, enough to provide 168,480 meals, and more than 25 per cent tailored for specific cultural or dietary requirements.
Each parcel is tailored to meet the needs of the recipients, taking into account family size, ages, plus dietary and cultural requirements and typically provides three main meals per person - lunches and breakfasts -along with essential non-food items such as toiletries and hygiene products too.
Councillor Paul Watling Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for stronger and safer communities, said: “The pressures of increasing food, energy and other household bills is having a real impact on people across the borough, and many are having to make the choices between heating and eating.
“The invaluable support the Telford Crisis Support Network and Telford and Wrekin Interfaith Council offers, through food parcels, breakfast packs and all of the other things they do, make a real difference to people’s lives. Meal packs mean that thousands of people across Telford &Wrekin are able to have a healthy and nutritious meal when they otherwise might not be able to.”
Chris Jones, Chair of Telford Crisis Support, said: “Since we established the foodbank in January 2012, demand for the support we provide has continued to grow.
“Energy price rises and the impact of the rising cost of living means that more and more people are facing food and fuel poverty, whether from benefit or income shortfall, homelessness, or other issues, so are turning to us for support.
“We are already seeing increasing demand already this year as a result of the energy price cap increases. With the funding from Telford& Wrekin Council, we can thankfully continue to deliver this essential service."
Councillor Raj Mehta, Chair of Telford and Wrekin Interfaith Council, said: “I’d like to thank Telford & Wrekin Council for their ongoing support and funding, without which we would not be able to provide the out of hours emergency food bank service that we offer.
“For people in need, these emergency parcels make all the difference, providing filling and nutritious meals for those who need them most, and may be their only source of food.”
As well as distributing food parcels and breakfast packs, over the winter period Telford Crisis Support also supported local families in need with new winter coats and shoes for 514 school children.
Telford Crisis Support is open for collection on weekdays between 9am and 5pm, then outside these times emergency food parcels are provided by Telford and Wrekin Interfaith Council, as well as at weekends and bank holidays too.
The demand for food banks means that both Telford Crisis Support and Telford and Wrekin Interfaith Council rely upon donations, so that they can continue to support those in greatest need. Anyone who wishes to support the schemes, either by donating food and other essential items, by making a financial donation, or by volunteering, can do so by contacting the charities directly.