A record number of people were forced to rely on Worcester Foodbank to avoid going hungry over Christmas.
The charity ended the year by feeding 1,150 clients during December – the most referrals it has handled during a single month since opening its doors seven and a half years ago.
It was able to cope with demand thanks to an extraordinary response from the local community, which saw almost 20 tonnes of supplies donated during the final countdown to Christmas.
More than 600 disadvantaged children also woke up on Christmas Day to discover a surprise gift after food bank was swamped with donations of festive gifts.
Grahame Lucas, Worcester Foodbank Manager, said: “We predicted this would be our busiest ever Christmas but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking that so many people had to rely on emergency food.”
“We’re indebted to the amazing generosity of local people who have never wavered in their support of our efforts to end the misery and injustice of hunger.”
Many of those referred to food bank continue to be hampered by lengthy delays in the payment of Universal Credit or other difficulties caused by the benefits system. Low income or unstable hours of employment make it impossible for some clients to cover the cost of essentials including food, rent and heating.
Worcester Foodbank – and other food banks that form part of the Trussell Trust – are continuing to press Government to end the five-week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit and ensure everyone has enough income to afford the basics we all need to live.
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