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Melksham Foodbank has seen a rise in local people needing support with food and toiletries and expect to see a rise in demand with the worsening energy crisis.
The Foodbank has been active in the community for 15-years and over that time, has noticed an increased demand with fears that things are only going to get worse in the weeks and months ahead.
Foodbank chairman, Alan said, “We started off just giving food to families who needed it. We have now seen a change in demographic and an increase in demand. With it, by and large, the supply has increased too.”
“In the lockdowns the support from people was tremendous. Over the last 12 months, we have noticed a change in what we get in. People have less funds and what they are putting in their trollies is changing. We have had several tales of people who want to donate food but can’t get out to the shops, so ask to donate money instead. We then go and buy the food.”
“We usually give people enough food for a week because usually, that’s all people can carry. Not everyone can come in the car or on the bus and sometimes they come with a child’s buggy.”
Along with a rise in demand for food and toiletries, the team highlighted their main struggle is supporting those who have no white goods to heat up or cook the food.
Alan said, “We give people food but if they have nothing to cook it on, it doesn’t help. This is the biggest thing we struggle with. We can signpost people to furniture and support, but that’s all we can do. We wrote to the MP about this and did have a positive response.”
Donations are usually at their highest for the Foodbank around the Harvest festival, Easter and Christmas. Kay, a volunteer at the Foodbank said, “People are very supportive around this time. We usually get a big donation from schools around Harvest, Easter eggs and at Christmas, people don’t like to think of children being hungry. We put together special Christmas bags that have slightly different things in them.
The Foodbank welcomes any donations of food and toiletries. The team said, “Even a small bar of chocolate will keep the pangs away.”
For more information, or to find out how to donate to the Melksham Foodbank visit http://melkshamfoodbank.org.uk/