Foodbank ‘pauses for breath’ and prepares for New Year
After a hectic Christmas the volunteers at the Leeds South and East Foodbank are gearing up for what promises to be a busy 2017.
In the two weeks prior to Christmas the foodbank donated almost a ton of food to charities helping those ‘living on the street’; provided two hundred food parcels to pensioners, as well as providing food and necessities to ‘those in crisis’ through its 11 distribution sites.
Wendy Doyle, Project Manager, stated “The number of people using foodbanks this past year (many of whom are the “working poor”) has increased, and we expect the demand to continue to grow. Benefit delays and changes, benefit sanctions, zero hour contracts, debt and low incomes are leaving individuals and families struggling to cope.”
John Newbould, Operations Manager, said “I wish to thank the individuals, families, churches, supermarkets, community organisations and companies who donated to the foodbank both at Christmas and in the previous twelve months – the families who received their donations were very grateful.”
As part of the Trussell Trust’s 400-strong network of foodbanks (which provide a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK) it provides and meets the needs of those in South and East Leeds ‘in crisis’ by providing emergency food; providing a ‘listening, non-judgemental space’ to listen to people and their immediate issues; to ‘sign-post’ them to those who can provide a long term solution to their problems.
The foodbank has provided food and necessities to 1,389 adults and 896 children since April 2016. It also supports a variety of other voluntary organisations with food; including school breakfast clubs, drop-in cafes, and meals for old-age pensioners, etc.
The Leeds South and East Foodbank is a third-sector, non-profit making charity, staffed by volunteers. The foodbanks warehouse and office is based at Unit 16, Ashbrooke Business Park, Parkside Lane, Leeds LS11 5SF, while its 11 distribution sites are located throughout South and East Leeds. The foodbank has approximately 280 unpaid volunteers. Each individual volunteers a number of unpaid hours to assist the foodbank to provide a service to those in need; some volunteer for as little as 3 hours per week; other provide up to five days of unpaid volunteering.
NEW YEAR APPEAL: Despite the fact than none of the volunteers get paid, the foodbank still has an expenditure of around £1,800 per month. One of its largest outgoings is the hiring of a van to collect and distribute food. If there is any company involved in the sale of commercial vehicles who would consider sponsoring the foodbank with a van please contact the foodbank on (0113) 271 5866.
WANT TO HELP?
– You can help by volunteering; providing unpaid time to help the foodbank to deliver its services.
– You can donate food at one of our distribution sites (see www.leedssouthandeast.foodbank.org.uk) or bring your donation to the main office Monday–Wednesday, 9am-2pm .
– You can (if your personal finances allow) make a regular financial donation to the foodbank. The money raised is used to support the foodbank’s activities; rent, rates, van hire, petrol, telephone bill, etc.
If any of the three options above appeal to you, you can contact Wendy (the Project Manager) on (0113) 271 5866.