A Lottery grant of £370,000 is set to help hungry Sheffield families find their feet.
Sheffield Citizens Advice has been awarded the Lotto cash to expand the advice service it provides to families who use foodbanks.
The funding will help train more than 80 Sheffield foodbank volunteers each year so they can help even more people and give the best advice on increasing income and claiming benefits they are entitled to.
Andy Buck, of Sheffield Citizens Advice, said: “Foodbank users are among the most vulnerable and needy citizens.
“We have reached people and families who are in urgent need of advice and who would otherwise have found it very difficult to get this help.”
Citizens Advice hopes to help more than 800 users a year at eight city foodbanks – places which rely on public donations of non-perishable food, where those in need can have a comforting chat as well as a square meal.
It says by offering financial advice and employment support, vulnerable people are able to rebuild their lives.
People will be assessed individually and receive personalised advice so they can get quicker and more effective help.
Rob Drost, chairman of Sheffield Foodbanks Network, said: “Far too many people and families are struggling with food poverty and its consequences.
“It is a basic need to be able to put a meal on a table – to sustain body, mind and spirit.
“The advice workers based in foodbanks have helped people to be assessed, advised and signposted to ensure the very best care can be offered.
“The feedback from the people we have helped has been very positive.”
Chris Hardy, of the S6 Foodbank, on Gilpin Street, said: “People using our service who have seen the advice worker have felt like a weight is lifted after speaking to her and have felt listened to.”
The service will be expanded over the next four years.
Sheffield Citizens Advice is a charity which provides advice by telephone and at nine main offices across the city.
n Visit www.advicesheffield.org.uk for more information or call the Adviceline on 03444 113 111.