Foodbank sees rise in demand
THE cost-of-living crisis has already had an impact at Kingswood Foodbank at Bourne Christian Centre.
Higher numbers of local people are being referred to the foodbank, and at the same time fewer people are donating money or goods.
In May the foodbank had its busiest day of the year so far, handing out food parcels for 38 adults and 17 children.
Volunteer Peter Shears said: “It’s a two-prong issue. There’s been a sudden increase in people’s bills such as energy costs and National Insurance as well as the cost of inflation.
“Therefore more people are coming to the foodbank, but people who used to donate to us might not have spare money to do so any more.
“We do get donations from businesses as well, which is a big help. We use money to get an Asda delivery to us of the things we’re running low on.
“As part of the Bristol North West Trussell Trust we have access to a central warehouse we can order things from. Even they’re running low on some things: we weren’t able to order any more toilet roll this week.
“There’ve been a few things we haven’t been able to include in the parcels we hand out but it does change week to week. Cooking oil has become harder to get hold of since the war in Ukraine began.”
Two Ukrainian families have been referred to the foodbank by South Gloucestershire council. One had family members already based in the UK, but three more people had arrived as refugees.
Mr Shears said: “If people suddenly have three extra mouths to feed, that can be the difference between managing and needing our support.
“There is a central hub being set up in Avonmouth specifically to help Ukrainian refugees.
“We’ve heard that some foodbanks have been asked by people not to give them anything that needs to be served hot, because they can’t afford to turn their ovens on. We haven’t had that here yet but it might happen if things continue the way they are.”
As well as food, the foodbank also needs donations of toiletries and cleaning products. For the current list of products needed by the foodbank, check the Kingswood Foodbank Facebook page which is updated twice a week.