Across the region, food banks have been seeing increased need for their services as more people finding themselves struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes.
The Elias Mattu Foundation, set up in memory of the late mayor of Wolverhampton, has been at the forefront of helping people across the city with food parcels and hot meals before, during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
It continued to offer help for the community as furlough ended and has also taken part in the free school meals campaign, but founder Asha Mattu has said it has led to a strain on resources at the foundation.
She said: "Currently, the situation is that we need more donations to be able to run, as numbers have gone up and after we ended up helping up to 80 families with free school meals, the cupboard is beginning to run bare.
Feed a Family:
"Right now, we are in need of everything and anything edible to help us to run, including fresh produce from allotments, as at the rate we are currently working, we only have enough in stock for the next two weeks.
"Everyone is struggling at the moment and you see a case for people either feeding or heating and it's only going to get worse as the cold weather begins to kick in, so it's a frightening time at the moment."
Foundation trustee Councillor Paul Birch said that for a lot of families, it was tough, particularly for people on Universal Credit, and called on the Government to do more to help.
He said: "There's people who are struggling to heat their homes and eat on Universal Credit, but also working families who are finding it hard to make ends meet.
"It's a shame that a lot of families have got into this situation and I think the Government could do more by actually meeting with the opposition and talking about solutions, as they have done in America."
Asha Mattu said the foundation would continue to do all it could to help the community during the winter, through Christmas and over half-term, but said it needed help with donations.
She said: "We need the stock and we need to feed these families and we don't want to say no to anyone in this situation as it is a terrible one to be in.
"We all need to work together and the more donations we get, the more families we will be able to help."
Items can be dropped off at a number of locations around the city, with the main drop off location at 8 Owen Road, Wolverhampton.
For more information, go to facebook.com/eliasmattufoundation or ring Asha Mattu on 07904 310530.
Below is a list of foodbanks that help hundreds of families each week, and below that is a list of the kind of things you should buy if you want to help:
Black Country Foodbank
The Storehouse, Albion Street, Brierley Hill, DY5 3EE. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm. Telephone: 01384 671250. Website: blackcountryfoodbank.org.uk. Deadline for Christmas food is December 3.
Unit 16, Wulfrun Trading Estate, Stafford Road, Wolverhampton WV10 6HH. Open Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 1pm. Please call 01902 256523 before you deliver. Sainsbury’s in Wombourne, Perton and Wednesfield have donation points as well as Asda in Wolverhampton. Website: thewellwolverhampton.co.uk.
Harvest Community Food Bank
New Testament Church of God, New Trust Centre, 1 Wolverhampton Road (on the corner of Woden Road & Wolverhampton Road), Heath Town, Wolverhampton, WV10 0PD Telephone: 01902 453190. Email: email@example.com. Website: ntcgharvesttemple.org.uk. Open Fridays between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Referral is not necessary but proof of address is required.
Good Shepherd Ministry, Wolverhampton
Food and toiletries can be donated at Sainsbury’s in Chapel Ash. If you have a large number of items to donate, call 01902 399955 to arrange delivery or collection. Website: gsmwolverhampton.org.uk.
Excel Church Food Bank
Wolverhampton Street, Bilston, WV14 0LT. 01902 402273. Open Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 5pm. excelchurch.org.uk/foodparcel.
Bilston Community Shop CIC
25A Market Way, Bilston, WV14 0DR. Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9am to 2.30pm. Telephone: 07361 557009. Opening date TBC
Cannock and District Food Bank
Coniston Hall, Cecil Street, Chadsmoor, WS11 5HD. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm. Telephone: 01543 422394. Website: cannockdistrict.foodbank.org.uk.
Rugeley Food Bank
Rugeley Community Centre, Burnthill Lane, Rugeley, WS15 2HX. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. Tesco also have a collection point, as do most Rugeley churches. Telephone: 07528 447504. Website: rugeley.foodbank.org.uk.
Walsall North Food Bank
Pelsall Methodist Church, Chapel Street. Open Tuesdays, 11am to 1pm, and Fridays 1pm to 3pm. Telephone: 07582 869895. Website: walsallnorth.foodbank.org.uk
Bloxwich and Blakenall Food Bank
Blakenall Village Centre, Thames Road, Blakenall, Walsall, WS3 1LZ. Open Thursdays 11am to 1pm. Telephone: 07747 301374. Website: bloxwichblakenall.foodbank.org.uk.
Great Barr Food Bank
St Bernard’s Church, Broome Avenue Great Barr B43 5AL. Open Fridays 12pm to 3pm. Telephone: 0121 3575399. Website: greatbarr.foodbank.org.uk.
Smethwick Food Bank
Holy Trinity Church, Church Hill Street, Smethwick, B67 7AH. Tuesdays and Fridays, 12pm to 2pm. Telephone: 0121 5170141. Website: smethwick.foodbank.org.uk.
Quinton and Oldbury Food Bank
St Boniface Church, Quinton Road West, Quinton, B32 2QD. Open Wednesdays, 11am to 1pm. Telephone: 07732 157619. Website: quintonoldbury.foodbank.org.uk.
Kidderminster Food Bank, based at the Swan Centre
Food can be donated at Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsburys in Kidderminster, Tesco and Co-op in Stourport. Website: kidderminster.foodbank.org.uk.
House of Bread
HoB Office: Unit 124 Centurion House, Anson Court, Beacondside, ST18 0GB.
43 Browning Street, Stafford, ST16 3AX. Cafe open Monday: 12pm to 2pm and 3pm to 5pm, Wednesday: 9.30am to 11am, 12pm to 2pm and 3pm to 5pm and Thursday: 9.30am to 11am, 12pm to 2pm and 3pm to 5pm.
For those unsure of what items are needed and suitable, here is an easy-to-follow list of the most useful products to donate to our very worthy causes.
WHAT TO BUY
Milk (UHT or powder, preferably
Fruit Juice (long-life)
Small jars of coffee
(ham,corned beef, Spam)
Tinned ready meals
(chilli, meatballs, stew)
Tinned vegetarian ready meals
(curry, ratatouille, macaroni cheese) Packets of mashed potato/tinned potatoes
Tinned vegetables Tinned fish
(tuna, mackerel, salmon & sardines)
Pasta sauce/ cooking sauces
Tinned fruit (in juice preferably)
Tinned rice pudding/custard
(small boxes of raisins/apricots)
Biscuits, crackers, crispbreads