Demand for the Hastings Foodbank is expected to soar as Christmas approaches say charity workers.
Natalie Williams, who oversees community engagement at King’s Church, said: “Referrals to Hastings Foodbank have risen dramatically over the last two years. We’re seeing an increasing number of people in poverty and with nowhere to turn. Many who come to us are on low incomes but cannot make ends meet. This time of year is particularly busy for us because as the temperature drops and Christmas approaches, there are additional pressures on people’s budgets.”
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Hastings Foodbank will be collecting at Tesco in Hollington on Friday 30 November and Saturday 1 December.
Natalie explained: “These Tesco collection days are vital for us, as they’re an opportunity to increase food donations at our busiest time of the year. Also, Tesco tops up by 20% everything that’s donated, which helps us even more and means that every donation goes further.”
Deputy Mayor James Bacon said, “Hastings Foodbank volunteers do such amazing work in supporting many residents in the town. We shouldn’t be needing foodbanks in the 21st Century but we are so grateful to all those who donate and volunteer to keep this local charity going.”
People will also have a chance to donate to the Hastings Foodbank at a special Christmas Pop-up Emporium taking place at All Saints Hall, in the Old Town on Friday November 30 from 4pm - 8pm. Hastings Deputy Mayor Cllr James Bacon will be there to receive donations.
The Trussell Trust operates 425 food banks across the UK providing emergency food and support for people in crisis.
“December is always the busiest month for food banks,” says Molly Hodson, from the charity. “There’s a massive spike every year – December is 50% busier than every other month – and January is also high.
“These are the months during which a lot of families on low incomes pay a “poverty premium. Winter is just a much harder time for people living in poverty, especially if they’re on pre-payment meters for their gas and electricity. A lot of people end up making choices between eating and heating their home.”
Mayor Nigel Sinden added: “Christmas is a special time, but sometimes we need extra to help us. When you’re donating, please remember that there are some people in our town who wouldn’t be able to have a Christmas at all without your help.”
Local residents can donate all year around, but donating at Tesco during the three-day collection next week is especially helpful due to the top up they give. Items we particularly need are tinned vegetables, meat, fish and soup, rice pudding, custard, long-life milk and juice, teabags, cereal, pasta and rice. If people would like to add some Christmas treats, they’re welcome to do so.
For more information about Hastings Foodbank, visit: www.hastings.foodbank.org.uk. Donations can be taken at King’s Church on The Ridge, 9am-5pm Mondays to Fridays, and during Sunday services.