Twenty-three schools, churches and a care home donated more than 1,500kg of food to Uckfield Foodbank following harvest festival services.
The foodbank described the volume of donations as ‘incredible’ and said they came at a time when the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks revealed that more than half a million emergency food parcels were issued across the UK in the first six months of the 2016-17 year.
This means the network is on course to distribute the highest number of food parcels in its 12-year history during 2016-17.
During the same six month period Uckfield Foodbank has distributed 243 three-day emergency food supplies to local people. Eighty-six of those to receive supplies were children. This is a 14% increase on the number of people helped at the same time last year.
Fifty-five per cent of clients go to the foodbank due to problems in receiving benefits and 27% due to low income.
Sharon Burt, Uckfield Foodbank manager said:
“On behalf of our clients we would like to thank all those who donated through a harvest festival service. Anybody could find themselves in need of the foodbank.
“Every week we meet local people like you or me, who have been hit by something unavoidable – such as illness, a delay in welfare payments or an unexpected bill – and are unable to afford food.
“It really is only with the community’s support that we’re able to provide vital emergency help when it most matters, and we’re constantly surprised and overwhelmed by local people’s generosity.”
Nationally, between April and September 2016, Trussell Trust foodbanks distributed 519,342 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis compared with 506,369 during the same period last year. 188,584 of these went to children. The numbers relate to a measure of volumn rather than unique users, and on average, people needed two foodbank referrals in the last year.
In the South East Trussell Trust foodbanks gave out 45,435 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, compared to 44,427 in the same period last year.