Foodbank trust makes Harvest plea

23 September 2016

ALEXANDRA SMART/TRUSSELL TRUST

HARVEST-FESTIVALGOERS are being encouraged to offer cash in addition to their usual tins of beans and other foodstuffs this year, as part of a national appeal for help from church-run foodbanks.

The network of Trussell Trust’s foodbanks is, for the first time, asking people to give money in addition to their usual food donations, to help foodbanks to cover their running costs.

The Trust also said that Harvest is the start of the busiest time for foodbanks: people face higher fuel costs as temperatures dip, placing extra strain on household budgets.

The Trust has a network of 420 church-run foodbanks, which last year provided more than 1.1 million emergency food-supplies to people in crisis. More than 400,000 of these were for children.

The network director of the Trust’s foodbank, Adrian Curtis, said: “Our network of foodbanks relies on the support of their local communities to make a lasting impact, providing emergency food but also helping people to break out of crisis more long-term.

”Food donations are really important to our foodbank network, but foodbanks also have lots of costs you might not immediately think of: as independent charities, they have to cover insurance and utilities; many will have to rent storage space for their food and pay to run a foodbank van; and an increasing number are running additional projects, such as budget cookery courses, that offer wider preventative support to help people avoid reaching the point where they need a foodbank referral.

“We are particularly grateful for extra help at Harvest, as our network prepares for winter. This is the busiest time of year for foodbanks, when people faced with higher gas and electric costs in the cold weather can face having to choose between turning on the heating or putting food on the table.

“That’s why this Harvest we would love for anyone considering helping their local foodbank to ‘combine’ their donation and give both money and food — it will make a real difference, as foodbanks continue to provide much-needed help in their communities.”

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