‘Rising demand’ for town foodbank

PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:51 28 June 2016

Man holding donation box

Man holding donation box

Archant

A town foodbank is experiencing ‘rising demand’ from children under the age of 16, according to its chairman, and is appealing for more donations as a result.

Burnham and Highbridge Foodbank, in Church Street, is in partnership with The Trussell Trust which is a national charity operating more than 400 foodbanks across the country.

Wayne Sadler, who is chairman of the branch in Burnham, told the Mercury donations are critical.

He said: “The foodbank has been going for four years and in that time we have helped 2,000 people. Of those, 810 of them have been under 16.

“There are a lot of young families in need. Our figures run from the tax year, so from April of last year, to April this year and in that time we have seen a huge increase in young people needing our services.

“What people don’t realise is we are helping people to get through an immediate problem.

“It is not about helping people week after week, it is about people who find themselves in a bad situation and need to come to us.

“We have a great relationship with the Citizens Advice Bureau. That organisation lets people know they can come along and many people only come to us once.”

To bolster the amount of donations, Mr Sadler is calling on anyone from the area to give non-perishable foods to the cause.

As well as this, there will be a three-day collection in the Tesco store in Ben Travers Way in Burnham from June 30 to July 2.

Mr Sadler urged people to help, and told the Mercury every donation makes a difference.

He said: “What I would say to people is that all the donations given are going to local people.

“We have helped more than 600 people over the past year to get emergency food.

“These people came from all wards within Burnham and Highbridge and the surrounding villages.

“We have been a lot busier since May, which shows that we need the support of local people as much as possible.”

Trustee of the foodbank Beverley Milner Simonds has also joined the campaign and echoed calls for people to get involved.

She said: “Every week the foodbank provides half a ton of food to those in need in the local area.

“Donations can be dropped off at Tesco, the Methodist Church in College Street in Burnham or Hope Baptist Church in Church Street, Highbridge.”

Anyone in need is referred to Burnham and Highbridge by a care professional, ensuring those who use the foodbank are genuinely in need.

These professional organisations include the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and Sedgemoor District Council, as well as child care services and schools.

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