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Haverhill Foodbank appealing for donations after spike in users

The Haverhill Foodbank is appealing for donations after noting a spike in the number of people using its services over the last year.

Volunteers at the foodbank, which opened in 2008 and is now based at the Wisdom Facilities Centre in Holland Road, have handed out 23 per cent more food boxes since July last year and have seen a 16 per cent rise in the number of visitors.

Netta Record, office manager, said: “We have seen an increase in the number of requests for food boxes over the last couple of months and as a result have become low on stock for certain items.”

Manager Sandra Mann with foodbank volunteers. Picture: Mark Westley
Manager Sandra Mann with foodbank volunteers. Picture: Mark Westley

Netta added that while demand for the foodbank’s services usually goes up during the school holidays, there were other causes of the growing numbers.

“I know that Universal Credit is having a massive impact at the moment, especially as there’s a five week wait,” she said.

“That’s having a major impact as well as other things like people who are on Disability Living Allowance having to move over to Personal Independence Payments or Employment and Support Allowance.

“They’re facing big waits as well and people are coming to us two or three weeks into their waiting time to ask for our help because their money is either running out or has stopped altogether.”

The foodbank is primarily used by individuals aged over 45 but staff have seen a rise in the number of families collecting food boxes.

“We do expect some more people coming in towards the end of the holidays as people do become really short of money then,” she said.

“The last couple of weeks is when you really notice the numbers going up.”

And it is for this reason that Netta wanted to urge people to donate what they can to the foodbank.

“Anyone who donates will be helping other families who are less able to provide these things for themselves,” she said.

“I’d encourage anyone who can donate to do so and help us to help those under pressure and ensure that no family is going hungry.”

The foodbank is looking for donations of pasta sauces, tinned tomatoes and fruit juice in particular, as well as coffee and sugar.

These items can be dropped off at the foodbank office or at various locations in the town, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Haverhill library in Camps Road.

For a full list of where food can be dropped off, see www.reachhaverhill.org.uk/Groups/263290/Foodbank.aspx

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