Doncaster Foodbank officials have confirmed they have seen a rise in visits since Universal Credit was launched across Doncaster for all age groups.
But they have also seen a wave of donations and collection points coming forward since the Free Press launched a campaign to help boost stocks over what was expected to be a difficult period.
Mark Snelson, manager of Doncaster Foodbank, at Christ Church, Thorne Road, said: "There has been an increase with Universal Credit. We have been keeping a tally of people who are coming in and universal credit issues are the main reason. On Wednesday, 20 out of 26 who came had Universal Credit given as the reason they had been referred."
Centre supervisor Shirley Donnelly said: "The last couple of weeks have certainly seen an increase."
But there had also been a surge in donations and a number of organisations had come forward to offer their premises as collection points.
Shirley added: "People have been popping into our site, bringing in donations, and some have rung in saying they want to do collections at their business.
"Some people from Fellowes turned up here with boxes of food after they had a collection, from all the staff there. and staff from Peter Hird, which is another Doncaster business, came in with a cheque for £316.
Meanwhile, the foodback has received another boost with an offer from the Frenchgate Centre in Doncaster town centre, to site a collection point there.
Our Free Press Foodbank campaign is set for a further boost this week as Tesco at Woodfield Plantation is hosting a food collection from Thursday November 30 until Saturday December 2.
The Tesco Food Collection is manned by Doncaster foodbank volunteers who will hand out shopping lists of tinned and dried goods at stores to encourage customers to buy an extra
item of food or two during their shop. Customers can then donate these items to their local foodbank on their way out of the store at a food collection point.
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 after concerns from foodbank chiefs and Citizens Advice Doncaster Borough, which issues food bank vouchers, over a major surge in demand while the new Universal Credit benefit is 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. Mexborough has collection points at Mexborough LIbrary and the Children’s Hub. bDonated food can be delivered to Christ Church any Tuesday or Thursday between 9am and midday.
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.