Demand soars at Doncaster foodbank

Bosses at Doncaster Foodbank say demand has soared for food parcels since the start of the year.

Sunday, 18th February 2018, 8:07 am
Updated Sunday, 18th February 2018, 8:10 am
Sylvia Robinson, of Auckley, Ian Ogley, of Wheatley Hills, Christopher Sanders, of Barnsley, Chris Ogley, of Wheatley Hills, andf Shirley Donnelly, of Bessacarr, have seen a busy period as volunteers at Doncaster Foodbank

Figures recorded for January saw 517 three-day food parcels handed out by the team of volunteers who run the service from its base at Christ Church, on Thorne Road.

It was a rise of more than 20 per cent compared to the previous January, which saw 396 of the parcels issued.

Free Press Foodbank campaign

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The number of vouchers issued by community organisations, for people to use the foodbank, had also increased, from 215 to 254.

Mark Snelson, foodbank manager, said: "If you multiply the figure for January by 12, you would get over 6,000 food parcels issued this year. There were 4,500 given out during the whole of 2017.

"I know January is traditionally a busy month, but that is worryingly high. I think Universal Credit still plays a part in that. There is still a five week wait for the first payment, and although it is possible to get an advance, that has to be paid back.

"We have also been seeing rising prices.

Free Press Foodbank campaign

"We are all right for stocks at the moment, but if it continued like that for a long time I would be concerned."

We launched the Free Press Doncaster Foodbank campaign to call on residents and businesses to help the borough’s foodbanks by making donations of food, or to offer premises as collection points.

The campaign was launched because of concerns from foodbanks and Citizens Advice Doncaster Borough, which issues food bank vouchers, over a major surge in demand while the new Universal Credit benefit was being rolled out across Doncaster.

Donations to Doncaster Foodbank can be dropped off at Tesco Extra at Woodfield Plantation, Woodfield Way, Balby, where there is a permanent collection point at the front of store, or delivered to Christ Church, Thorne Road, any Tuesday or Thursday between 9am and midday.

Mexborough has collection points at Mexborough Library and the Family Hub on Wath Road from Monday to Friday 8.30am until 4.30pm.

The Thorne and Moorends Community Hub and Food Bank is open on Wednesday morning 9am to 12pm at Thorne Rugby Club.

Food items which are most urgently needed include tinned fruit, long life fruit juice, tinned rice pudding, tinned meat, pasta sauce and rice. Doncaster Foodbank also takes toiletries, cleaning and sanitary products.