Fylde Foodbank has launched an urgent appeal for items as it gears up for what is expected to be its busiest summer yet,
In the last financial year, the Foodbank, with bases in St Annes and Kirkham and part of the Trussell Trust’s network, provided more and 1,500 three-day emergency food supplies to people in need. Of those, 936 went to children.
Trustee Christine Miller says demand always increases during the summer school holidays, and is appealing for contributions to help ensure the shelves are adequately stocked to ensure no-one is disappointed.
Christine said: “In previous years, the rise in the number of families struggling to stretch their money to cover the summer break has left Fylde Foodbank’s stocks running low for certain items.
"More and more people are finding that their income simply won’t stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for extra childcare during the holidays."
Among items most required are tinned meat, tinned fish, tinned fruit, long life full fat milk and long life fruit juice.
Contributions can be dropped off at the Fylde Foodbank at the United Reformed Church annexe in St George's Road, St Annes on Tuesday and Thursday between 11am and 3pm and at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Moor Street, Kirkham on Mondays and Fridays between 10.30am and 2pm.
The charity is backing calls by the Trussell Trust for the Government to tackle delays and gaps in benefits, which affect families’ ability to afford essentials, as a first priority.
That, says Christine, includes ending the five-week wait for a first Universal Credit payment, which she feels is a key driver of increasing need at Foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network.
More locally, the Foodbank is urging local families to seek help if they are struggling to afford food this summer, and asks local people able to donate to support their work in the community.
Christine added: "While donations are vital for helping families during the coming weeks, Foodbanks are not a long-term solution, and more must be done to ensure people have enough money for essentials like food.
"No one in Fylde should need a Foodbank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all.
“We know it doesn’t have to be like this. We’re determined to work alongside other Foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network to bring about long-term change to end hunger not only during the holidays, but at any time of year. "
The Foodbank is working closely this summer with Fylde Council to help provide healthy snacks and fruit to children participating in their planned activities.
“We’re able to offer this crucial support to local people because of the community’s help – we rely on local donations to run the Foodbank," said Christine.
"Any donations of our most-needed items will be invaluable this summer.”