SHOPPERS are being urged to help Stratford Foodbank by putting a little extra in their basket.
Demand for the food bank’s services has rocketed and the charity is holding its annual summer Food Drive at the Birmingham Road Tesco store next Thursday and Friday (June 13 and 14).
The food donated will be distributed in emergency food parcels to local people referred to the charity because they cannot afford to feed themselves and their families.
Tesco will be topping up the value of the food donated by the public by 20 per cent, providing additional funds to support the Food bank’s work.
This summer the charity is being helped by volunteers from local businesses NFU Mutual and Coop Legal Services, who will greet customers in store with a list of items most needed by the charity, which customers can pick up and donate at the end of their shop.
Stratford’s Foodbank manager, Marion Homer, said: “This year we have been shocked by the increase in demand we have faced for our emergency food parcels. We want to see a future where our work won’t be needed, but until then we’ll do all we can to provide help to local people.
“It’s easy to make a difference. This Thursday and Friday volunteers will be collecting in store so you can have a chat with them about our work and which items we most need.
“This is my 5th year as Foodbank manager collecting at Tesco – we’ve been overwhelmed in past collections by the generosity of the community and their desire to help each other. Often the most generous food donations are made by those we have helped previously or their family members.
“Ultimately, it’s unacceptable that anyone should have to use a food bank. No charity can replace the dignity of having financial security. That’s why we are backing the Trussell Trust’s campaign in urging the government to ensure benefit payments reflect the true cost of living and work is secure, paying the real living wage, to help ensure we are all anchored from poverty.”
On the most wanted list are tinned pies, tinned ham, tinned fruit, savoury biscuits, tinned vegetables, rice pudding and custard.
Those who cannot get to the store can make a donation by visiting www.justgiving.com/stratforduponavon-foodbank
Email [email protected] for more information about the food collection.
* Stratford Foodbank is launching a £35,000 fund-raising campaign for a new home to meet rocketing demand.
So far this year nearly 1,200 three day emergency food parcels have been distributed to people in need – an average of 300 a month.
The figure is much higher than when the food bank launched in the town in 2013 and handed out parcels to around 90 people. The charity says since then it has seen a year on year increase of 63 per cent.
Visit stratforduponavon.foodbank.org.uk for information.