Colchester’s Foodbank is asking for more help as statistics predict an increased demand for its services throughout the rest of August.
The Trussell Trust’s network of over 420 foodbanks, of which Colchester Foodbank and it’s partner Foodbanks in Brightlingsea and Wivenhoe are part of, provided 3,500 more three-day emergency food supplies to children during July and August last Summer; compared to the previous two months in the same year.
Primary school aged children were most likely to receive support from a foodbank last summer. Families who rely on free school meals at primary school during term time can find themselves facing hunger during the school holidays, when there is extra financial pressure to provide main meals. Last year’s report from The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger estimated the loss of free school meals during the holidays adds between £30 and £40 a week to parents’ outgoings for one child.
The Foodbank has urged local families to seek help if they are struggling to afford food this summer and asks local people able to donate to support their work in the community.
Michael Beckett, Chief Officer at Colchester Foodbank charity, said:
“Lots of people are just getting by day-to-day but find their income simply won’t stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for extra childcare during the holidays. Help is here in Colchester area, everyone who comes to the Foodbank is referred by a local agency who holds our vouchers so we’d encourage anyone worried they won’t be able to afford food this summer to talk to Colchester Citizens Advice or Barnardos Greenstead and Home-Start that hold vouchers.
“No one should need a foodbank’s help, and we’re determined to work alongside other Foodbanks in The Trussell Trust’s network to bring about long-term change to end hunger not only during the holidays, but at any time of year. Whilst we work towards this, we’ll continue to take practical action on the ground, providing the best emergency support possible to local people facing hunger. It’s only with the community’s help that we’re able to continue, as we rely on local donations to run the Foodbank.”
Samantha Stapley, Director of Operations at The Trussell Trust, added:
“Foodbanks cannot, and must not, be a long-term solution to hunger at any time of year. No one should face going hungry, and although our network will be doing all they can this summer to help families struggling to make the money they have stretch to cover the essentials, no charity can replace people having enough money for the basics.
“There are changes we can make as a nation to help during the holidays, but if we are to protect each other from hunger whatever the time of year, we have to go further than that. We know particular groups of people are most likely to need a Foodbank, so let’s make sure no one is swept into destitution. Our benefits system can, and must, act as an anchor to protect people from being pulled into poverty.”
Colchester Foodbank Charity’s Food HQ premises fund launched in May 2018 has so far raised £20,479. Anyone interested in supporting the Foodbank can donate £10 to pay for a ‘brick’ in the “Be a brick, buy a brick”. Donations can be made via Co-Op Bank. Account name: Colchester Foodbank. Account number: 65361687. Sort Code: 08/92/99 or in person at the Foodbank.
For up-to-date lists of urgently needed food and toiletries, information about where food donations can be left and to contact the Foodbank about possible collection points or to contact the Foodbank aboutone-off financial donations or regular monthly giving, visit www.Colchester.Foodbank.org.uk or search Facebook or Twitter for ‘Colchester Foodbank’.