Grantham Foodbank demand for children in crisis soars
The number of local children relying on charity handouts to eat has surged since last year, according to the latest Foodbank report.
Thirty-four tonnes of food was distributed to 2,009 adults and 934 children in the Grantham area between April 2017 and March 2018 - a 22 per cent increase in child interventions compared to the same period last year.
The statistics are revealed in the charity’s annual report, and the local figures also reveal that there has been an 18 per cent increase in the amount of people receiving emergency food parcels in the last year, compared to 2016.
Foodbank co-ordinator Brian Hanbury said: “There has a steady increase in demand since the roll-out of universal credit to families in October but we didn’t expect it to be so high for children in such a short amount of time. Supporting children is always at forefront of our minds. They don’t make these choices.”
Grantham Foodbank, which also supplies quality used clothes and household essentials to clients, costs between £28,000 to £34,000 a year to run and relies on funding as well as food donations to continue.
Brian added: “Our biggest issue is the running costs. Everything we deliver has a delivery at source cost of £1 per meal. This includes heating, lighting, rent, the computer centre and clothing and advice. We are desperate to find someone with great fundraising skills who can help us secure some more funding pots.”
About 60 volunteers currently work with the Foodbank based in Greyfriars, Grantham, either working on site, at home and helping with supermarket collections.
Volunteer Esme Sutton said: “We have people from all different walks of life come through the door. Anyone can find themselves in need and everyone has a different reason for being here including illness, seperation or loss of employment. I have listened to parents who have skipped meals in order to feed their children, couples who work long hours but can’t afford the bills and an elderly lady who used all her pension to visit her son in hospital. I have had to learn to try and leave it at the door before I go home but I will keep coming back, as long as there is a need.”
Grantham Foodbank will be collecting at Asda tomorrow (Saturday) between 9am and 1pm and are in particular need of key items including tinned fruit, rice packs, long life milk and meal based sauces.
Brian added: “The most important part is our thankfulness to our gracious town that shows in us massive trust and are our permission givers to restore local families’ dignity.”
To find out more about how you or your business or organisation can help, visit: www.granthamfoodbank.org.uk