Food bank helping more than ever

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This week sees the launch of the Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser’s latest campaign - Feed Our Families.

We are joining forces with the Eastwood Volunteer Bureau’s food bank to make sure the town’s residents don’t go hungry this Christmas, and we need your help.

The Wellington Street-based food bank is now handing out nearly 40 food parcels per week – compared with just ten earlier this year.

Just last week the manager of the food bank, Sue Bagshaw, told the Advertiser the service was ‘really stretched’ and said it desperately needed help.

Mrs Bagshaw told us the service had been operating for three years, but demand had recently ‘ballooned’.

Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero said she hoped local residents would ‘rally round and help’.

She said: “I’m sad to say I wasn’t surprised when I heard that the number of families relying on this service had rocketed as the cost of living crisis really begins to hit home with prices rising faster than wages in 39 out of the last 40 months.

“I’ve visited the volunteer bureau many times and I’ve seen first hand the fantastic work that goes on, but they are in desperate need for more help.

“I know from my three years as the MP for the area that the community spirit here is second to none so I hope local residents who are able to do so, can rally round and help the brilliant charity and their neighbours.

“If you’d like to make a donation, no matter how big or small - whether it be tins, rice, pasta or other long-life goods then pop in or give them a call.

“Your kindness could make a real difference.”

To help boost the charity’s stock and make sure none of our town’s residents go without food this winter we want our readers to take a look in their cupboards or buy an extra tin or two when doing the weekly shop - however small the donation might seem it will all make a difference.

Mrs Bagshaw said: “We are appealing to your generosity to donate non-perishable food items to our food bank so that those less fortunate will not go hungry.”

A volunteer at the bureau, Ken Woodhead said parents were feeding their kids and not having enough money to feed themselves.

He put the crisis down to rising unemployment and recent government benefit cuts.

All of the produce donated by Advertiser readers will be passed on to the bureau to make up the parcels.

Parcels are packaged up to cater for a host of different service users, whether it be for a single parent struggling to feed their children or for elderly people struggling to afford food because of other mounting costs.

People on benefits of less than £110 per week will qualify for the food parcels.