Vital donations are needed to keep Leeds food banks in enough supplies to deal with increased demand during the remaining weeks of the summer holidays.
As part of our Feed A Family campaign this week, the YEP has reported on the rising need across the city for emergency three-day food parcels as benefits changes, debt and surprise bills hit families hard.
But a major reason for a increase in demand over recent months is thought to be “holiday hunger” caused by children missing out on free school meals during the break.
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And both the city’s main services – the Leeds North and West, and South and East Foodbanks – have said that they are struggling to keep up with demand as supplies are taken up quickly after coming in.
Volunteer operations manager for Leeds South and East Foodbank, John Newbould, said: “It’s crucial. We’ve probably got enough to supply two, at a stretch three weeks, by which time we will be absolutely desperate.
“I would appeal to anybody that’s concerned about people in crisis, struggling for food – it’s really, really important that people make donations no matter how big or small.”
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Items which are desperately needed include toilet paper, nappies, tinned tomatoes, pasta sauce, tinned custard, tinned rice pudding, long-life milk and cordial.
Financial contributions are also welcomed, as it costs roughly £1,600 per month to run a service.
In 2013/14, the Leeds South and East service alone fed 1,216 clients. Between April 2017 and March this year, 9,018 had to turn to the service.
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In 2016/17, the Leeds North and West service gave out 8,121 emergency three-day supplies – a figure which shot up to 9,544 a year later.
For details of how to donate to the services, visit www.leedsnorthandwest.foodbank.org.uk or www.leedssouthandeast.foodbank.org.uk