The Trussell Trust, which has Foodbanks across the Borough of Colchester, is warning of an increase in referrals within the Town as Universal Credit is fully rolled out.

The charity, which Colchester Foodbank and it’s partner Foodbanks in Brightlingsea and Wivenhoe are part of, saw a 13.5% increase in referrals in 2017 over the previous year.

The charity has seen an increase of 52% in the number of referrals received over the following year in areas where Universal Credit has been fully rolled out.

“To stop hunger in Colchester we must make sure the welfare system works fairly and compassionately, stopping people getting to a point where they have no money and cannot afford to eat” said Michael Beckett, Chief Officer at Colchester Foodbank charity.

“To this end our Foodbanks are committed to working with people of good will from any political parties or none. Today we‘ve had our two local MPs’ visit, next week we have a Labour Councillor visiting, last week we had a Liberal Democrat group visiting and before that we had a raffle donation from the Green party”, he said.

Colchester Foodbank is the biggest Foodbank in Essex, with over 85 volunteers providing over 500 meals a month; over 125 meals each week.

The Foodbank’s biggest cost is renting a Warehouse, and the organisation are looking to raise a deposit for a mortgage to reduce long-term costs.

The charity recently launched a ‘Be a brick, by a brick’ scheme to help raise funds for the deposit. 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).

You can learn more about the Colchester Foodbank by visiting: colchester.foodbank.org.uk

You can also make a donation at the Colchester Foodbank JustGiving page.

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