Foodbank says demand over the summer created strain on supplies ahead of busiest time of year
PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 September 2019
Twice as many children needed the help of Weston Foodbank during the school holidays, with the charity saying it has created a strain on its stock levels.
The charity, in North Street, helped 225 people through the child holiday scheme. It helped only 112 last summer.
The scheme was promoted in schools and referral agencies, to encourage families, who may struggle during the holidays to come forward and receive vouchers which they could redeem at the Foodbank.
Families who used the vouchers were supplied with a food parcel to cover the family for three to seven days and essentials such as sanitary products, toiletries and pet food, if needed.
Manager of Weston Foodbank, Frederique Wigmore, says it helped 888 people this summer.
She said: "Holiday hunger is a growing issue, and this year to avoid last-minute shortages, we worked with schools and centres that work with children to emphasis how we could help.
"We encouraged schools to display posters even on doors so parents would have an opportunity to speak to teachers or the reception of the schools who would give them vouchers they could redeem at any time.
"We try to be there when people are going through a tough time because it can hit anyone at anytime.
"The demand created an added strain to our stock levels at the quietest period of the year donation-wise but we were so grateful for the ongoing support we have."
The Foodbank has seen a 66 per cent increase in the use since 2015 where they helped 3,000 people throughout the whole year.
Last year, it helped 5,000 people and it expects to see around the same figures at the end of the year as it has helped 3,500 people already.
Frederique added: "The growing awareness of Foodbanks could be a reason we are seeing these numbers grow.
"The volunteers have seen people from all works of life but the story is usually the same.
"We're now entering the harvest and Christmas period and we are confident the stock levels will be restored to help those in need over the winter months."
To donate to the Foodbank, call 01934 708906 or visit www.westonsupermare.foodbank.org.uk