March Foodbank set to help twice as many families this Christmas compared to five years ago

PUBLISHED: 17:04 17 December 2018

Ely Foodbank @ March is preparing to hand out hampers to clients for Christmas 2018. The number of famlies using the service has doubled in the last five years. Debbie Goddard, store manager. Picture: Kath Sansom

Ely Foodbank @ March is preparing to hand out hampers to clients for Christmas 2018. The number of famlies using the service has doubled in the last five years. Debbie Goddard, store manager. Picture: Kath Sansom

Archant

The food bank service in March is gearing up to hand out hampers to twice the amount of families this Christmas compared to five years ago.

Ely Foodbank @ March is preparing to hand out hampers to clients for Christmas 2018. The number of famlies using the service has doubled in the last five years. Picture: Kath SansomEly Foodbank @ March is preparing to hand out hampers to clients for Christmas 2018. The number of famlies using the service has doubled in the last five years. Picture: Kath Sansom

Hundreds of goodies have been donated to the weekly service from supermarkets, churches and students at Neale Wade Academy.

Volunteers are urging anybody with unwanted Christmas gifts like toys or beauty sets to donate them over the coming weeks so they can be handed out as part of the food bank’s charitable service.

Debbie Goddard, store manager of the Ely Foodbank @ March said: “We have just celebrated our fifth year and I would say we have double the number of families who need us.

“There are 15 to 20 families who come regularly every week. In addition we have more homeless people.

Ely Foodbank @ March is preparing to hand out hampers to clients for Christmas 2018. The number of famlies using the service has doubled in the last five years. Picture: Kath SansomEly Foodbank @ March is preparing to hand out hampers to clients for Christmas 2018. The number of famlies using the service has doubled in the last five years. Picture: Kath Sansom

“A lot of people come without vouchers.

“Sadly, we are finding that people, who are behind on the rent, still aren’t being given food bank vouchers from the local authority.

“This is bound to get worse because the Universal Credit system has a five week gap from one benefit to another with nothing to help people in this change over period.

“There are a lot of people in bed and breakfasts and hostels long term. One couple has been in their “temporary” bed and breakfast for two years.”

• The Food bank is open on Tuesdays from 1pm to 2.30pm at Centenary Baptis Church.

• It is open over Christmas on Boxing Day and on Wednesday Janaury 2 from 1 to 2.30pm.

• For details or to find out how to donate unwanted Christmas presents email debbiemgoddard@btinternet.com.

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