Bridgnorth food bank sees 40 per cent increase in food poverty

Food poverty in a town has increased by 40 per cent in recent months, a food bank has said.

Volunteers working at Bridgnorth Food Bank on West Castle Street blame the coronavirus pandemic for the sharp increase in vulnerable people needing support.

Figures show throughout 2020 the trust provided food parcels to 329 people, including 184 adults and 145 children from 129 families.

More than 110 emergency food parcels were also provided to residents in crisis.

In the last four months of 2020, volunteers saw a 40 per cent increase in demand for food support.

With increased living pressures caused by the pandemic throughout 2020, the independently-run trust also helped clients with various other challenges.

This included gas and electricity costs, transport, clothing, footwear, toys and kitchen equipment.

Trained volunteers were also able to signpost clients to a range of support agencies available.

Bridgnorth Food Bank

Throughout the year, about 57,000 items of food, toiletries and other essential supplies were donated to the food bank and given to vulnerable residents.

Of the people helped, 58 per cent live in Bridgnorth, with the rest living within a 12-mile radius.

Philip Webster, of the food bank, said: "There is a growing demand as clients seek help from the food bank. This has been instigated because of the consequences of the Covid-19 virus, which has caused great hardships in our community.

"We can only offer this support because of the amazing level of donations made by the people of Bridgnorth and surrounding area.

"Without this generosity, individuals, couples and families would go hungry.

"We would also like to add our sincere thanks for the added support we receive from local supermarkets, Fair Share, Neighbourly, churches, schools, businesses and so many organisations which are too numerous to mention.

"Can we also take this opportunity to thank our food bank volunteers, without their involvement, the food bank would not function and provide this invaluable service.

"We all hope that eventually with the help of vaccines, 2021 will see an end to this nightmare, and we can all get back to a normal life."

Each family pack given out includes about 50 items. Couples in need of support receive about 40 items and individual parcels contain approximately 35 items.

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