Ely Foodbank is appealing to members of the public to continue donating essential food and other items to those in crisis as people across the UK face another sharp rise in living costs.
Many of us will be feeling the squeeze from further food, fuel and energy price hikes hitting homes this month, with household bills as much as doubling in some cases.
For people who are already struggling to make ends meet, this could mean having to make some very difficult decisions. At the same time, people who regularly donate to foodbanks may also need to reduce the amount they give.
New Ely Foodbank Manager, Sophie Bell said: “Spending more money on essentials like food and energy bills means that some members of our community are worrying about where their next meal is going to come from, often having to choose between eating and heating, or between feeding themselves or their children.
“Our emergency parcels provide enough food for around three days and make a huge difference to families, couples and individuals in financial crisis. With bills rising as they are, we are expecting more people to need our help over the coming weeks and months.
“We rely heavily on donations from members of the public, but the rising cost of living means that people who regularly make donations to foodbanks may no longer be able to give the same amount, or they may even need to stop giving altogether.
“We have already noticed fewer donations being collected this month in some areas, and we expect this trend to continue as we move further away from payday. Worryingly, this also coincides with the time that our clients need our food the most, as their payments will also be running very low.”
The food provided by Ely Foodbank has been selected by The Trussell Trust to be healthy and nutritionally balanced – but the charity has run out of some essential items and is running low on many others.
Sophie added: “If people would like to give to their local foodbank to help our clients through this difficult time, we are currently in need of tinned meat, rice, tinned fruit, longlife milk and fruit juice, tinned custard and rice pudding. We also like to have toilet rolls, toiletries and pet food available, as some clients will feed their pets before feeding themselves, plus shopping and carrier bags, and we are very low on these items too. Other items we put in every food parcel include cereals, biscuits, pasta, tea, coffee, jam, tinned vegetables and tomatoes, soup, fish and pasta sauce.
“We are always extremely grateful for every donation of food and other essential items from all of our donors, including members of the public, bulk and corporate donors, other charities and community groups. Every donation, no matter how small, makes a big difference to someone when they need it the most.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our team of around 175 volunteers who work tirelessly across our network in Ely, Soham, Cottenham, Waterbeach, Haddenham, Chatteris, March and at our warehouse in Chettisham, in roles such as collecting and transporting donations, sorting and packing food, distributing parcels and supporting clients in their time of need and beyond. We appreciate that times are tough for many of us and we are very grateful for the time every single one of our volunteers gives to Ely Foodbank.”
There are many reasons why people need the help of foodbanks, including redundancy, illness, bereavement, benefit changes, delays or sanctions, escaping domestic abuse, exploitation or war. To ensure that clients get help to move forward as well as help in the time of crisis, Ely Foodbank is partnered with Citizens Advice, which provides free support and advice as well as signposting to the most relevant agencies.
If you would like to donate to your local foodbank, you can currently shop and drop at the following locations:
Ely: Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s
Sutton: One Stop, Co-Op
Chatteris: BP Garage
Soham: Co-Op, St Andrew’s Church
Cottenham: Co-Op, All Saints Church
March: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-Op, Iceland, QD
Haddenham: Holy Trinity Church (11-1 Monday only)
Please mark any items bought from different supermarkets as “private donation”.
If you are struggling to put food on the table and would like to enquire about getting a foodbank voucher, email [email protected] or call 01353 468626.