Residents encouraged to ‘step out’ and support Sheffield foodbank’s fundraising appeal
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The Trussell Trust food bank, which is run by St Thomas’ Church, supported 117 individuals and families across four sites during just one week in December 2019 – its busiest period before the Covid-19 crisis.
Since the pandemic hit, however, the numbers using its service have spiralled with the charity handing out over 20,000 emergency food parcels to adults and children across seven sites in Sheffield in the months between April and September alone.
As we approach winter, S6 foodbank says it expects the need to become even greater as people face a tough decision between putting food on the table or heating their home.
In order to meet demand, the charity has launched a fundraiser with a target of £40,000 in which it will benefit from match-funding from the government through the Love Your Neighbour partnership – and is now encouraging those living in the city to go that extra ‘step’ to help it achieve this goal.
Foodbank volunteer, Alison Wise, said: “To try and inspire people to get involved, we've created the 'Stepping out for S6' campaign, asking people to complete 60,000 steps across the month, with the aim of raising £40 to support us.
"We’re asking everyday people to support the community and people they’ll never meet. It’s roughly about 25 miles that we’re asking people to walk.
"A couple of our students who work in the warehouse did it over a weekend, other people are doing it over a month, some people are running it – we’ve got a lot of people doing it in different ways which is great.
"We did the 60k because we are S6 foodbank but although we are called S6, we have nine sites across the city supporting people all over, from Sharrow to Firth Park and Parson Cross, Stannington and Crookes.”
More people than ever are relying on foodbanks across the UK, with the Trussell Trust revealing that 1.2 million emergency food parcels were given to people struggling to afford essentials between April 1 and September 30 this year, making it the busiest ever half-year period for foodbanks within its network.
S6 Foodbank said the donations will be used as they come in to support in the ‘ongoing food crisis’ – with over £10,000 raised so far.
"In a typical winter season we would expect a 10 to 20 per cent increase,” Alison added. “But, at the moment we’re feeding anywhere between 850 and 1,000 people in a week alone which is already an increase on last year.
"The money enables us to bulk buy – people need toilet roll, washing up liquid, basic hygiene products sometimes – and for us to be able to source an enourmous palette of say washing up liquid that means we’re sorted for three months for example and we can focus on other items.”