New food bank opens in Sheffield to cope with growing demand

From left,  Deni Ennals, Steve Chapman, Nick Twite, Michelle Swindells, Brian Spychala and Annette Matam, of S2 Food Bank.
From left, Deni Ennals, Steve Chapman, Nick Twite, Michelle Swindells, Brian Spychala and Annette Matam, of S2 Food Bank.
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A new food bank has been opened in Sheffield to help cope with the increasing demand for support.

The new S2 Food Bank is based at St Swithun’s Church, on Cary Road, Manor.

Deni Ennals and Steve Chapman, of S2 Food Bank, with their christmas card, where you can buy a food parcel for somebody at christmas. Picture: Andrew Roe

Deni Ennals and Steve Chapman, of S2 Food Bank, with their christmas card, where you can buy a food parcel for somebody at christmas. Picture: Andrew Roe

Deni Ennals, from the bank, said its work is designed to take some of the pressure off the Salvation Army on Duke Street, which has previously been taking responsibility for food bank support in the S2 area.

She said: “S2 is such a big area. In recent Citizens’ Advice research, it is the worst area in Sheffield for people being hit with benefit sanctions.

“Because the Salvation Army is known for giving food, they are getting inundated with people.

“It has increased in the last few months because of sanctions and also the working poor is a new category of people. People are really hungry in Sheffield.”

(back l-r) Steve Chapman, Nick Twite, Michelle Swindells and Brian Spychala, (front l-r) Deni Ennals and Annette Matam, of S2 Food Bank, are organising and collect food parcels. Picture: Andrew Roe

(back l-r) Steve Chapman, Nick Twite, Michelle Swindells and Brian Spychala, (front l-r) Deni Ennals and Annette Matam, of S2 Food Bank, are organising and collect food parcels. Picture: Andrew Roe

Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central, was on hand to officially open the new food bank on Saturday.

The centre has been running for about seven weeks already, with the help of almost 20 volunteers.

As part of the new bank’s fundraising efforts, organisers have set up a scheme where people can buy a Christmas card for friends or family – with the contribution going towards a food parcel for users of the bank.

It comes after David Blunkett, Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, raised concerns about growing demand on Sheffield’s food banks earlier this year.

A report by officials from the ‘Share’ scheme, which serves Parson Cross, showed it had given out food to 651 needy adults and children between January and June this year – compared with 694 food parcels in the whole of 2013.