By Nadeen Meeran
FOODBANKS are preparing themselves for their busiest month of the year as Christmas approaches – following record numbers of people using the service this year.
A foodbank is a place where basic food items are stored and supplied to people who need it most.
Between April and September 2016 the Trussell Trust supplied 519,342 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis compared to 506,369 during the same period last year.
And visits are set to rise during the Christmas period.
The Trussell Trust said in a press release: “The staggering number means that the foodbank network is on course to distribute the highest number of food parcels in its twelve-year history during 2016-17.”
John Newbould, a volunteer at South Leeds food banks said: “The biggest challenge facing food banks in December is the increasing number of people using them.
“It means the centres are busier and more food is given out, although more people are willing to donate at this time of the year because of the Christmas spirit. For example, earlier today two men turned up with large bags filled with food and they seemed happy with themselves.”
Donations to food banks have also increased in shops such as Co-op Locals.
Gareth Mckay, 29, team manager at a Co-op Local said: “More people tend to donate in December. I think it’s the thought of families with young children going without food at a time when everyone else is celebrating.
“The biggest challenge overall is organising the collection and delivery of the food to foodbanks, it gets quite hectic with our shop being a smaller one.”