Christmas came early for Worcester Foodbank as supermarket shoppers donated five and a half tonnes of supplies during a marathon three-day food collection.
Volunteers encouraged customers at the Tesco stores in St Peter’s and Warndon to add a little extra to their basket or trolley to help foodbank feed the growing number of people forced to turn to it for help.
And shoppers did not disappoint with some even handing over trolleys filled with urgently needed items like long-life fruit juice and toilet rolls, as well as festive treats including alcohol-free mince pies and Christmas puddings.
It’s estimated the 463 crate-loads of supplies will provide at least 5,000 meals to people and families who cannot afford to feed themselves this winter.
Grahame Lucas, Worcester Foodbank Manager, said: “It’s times like these when I feel immensely proud of our city having once again witnessed such extraordinary generosity.”
“In an ideal world there would be no need for us to ask for donations but the reality is demand for emergency food shows no sign of slowing. Without this level of support hundreds of our clients would go hungry this winter.”
The boost in supplies comes at a critical time for foodbank with the charity predicting a steep rise in referrals, fuelled by the recent rollout of Universal Credit across the city.
The Lowesmoor-based centre handed out almost 2,800 emergency food supplies during the first six months of 2018/19 but there are fears demand could rise by as much as 50 per cent over the next year.