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'We are needed now more than ever': Wolverhampton Food bank sees demand soar

A Wolverhampton food bank has said its services are needed "more than ever" after noticing a spike in the number of users.

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Seema Rayat, Founder of NDS Community Services (seated front) with Ollie Locker project manager at Wolves Food and Poverty Project, former mayor Sandra Samuels, and project manager Serju Patel

NDS Community Service, a food bank charity operated from the Saturn Centre on Spring Road, has said that food banks are still seeing a spike in the number of users.

The charity, which supports a number of other food bank initiatives around the area, has said its services are there to be used as Black Country residents continue to struggle through the cost of living crisis.

Serju Patel, project manager at NDS Community Service, said: "There is absolutely still a need for food banks, there is still a large faction of people who rely on free accessible food when things go wrong.

"The pound just doesn't stretch as far as it used to anymore. People are still trying to survive on a budget that just isn't quite making it, there is still very much a call for them."

Feed a Family:

The project, which acts as a supplier for other food banks around the West Midlands, helps the Siwa Kitchen, Walsall, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Stratton Street Food Bank and the Bilston Food Bank among many others.

Mr Patel continued: "A lot of food banks are evolving into community shops now, which means that they sell food for cost price to help sustain themselves. This obviously builds a lot of need for more food banks to pop up.

"We work more on a supplier and distributor as well as an emergency service also. We did start as a special dietary requirement service, so stuff like oak milk, gluten-free bread, that sort of thing.

The charity has also funded employability IT skills funded by Walsall Council to train over 60 clients in becoming more financially independent.

Mr Patel said: "When we are on the street we are always asking 'What do you need?' and we always get a lot of feedback about IT skills, budgeting, CV building."

NDS Community Service was also nominated for the King's Award for Voluntary Service in 2022, with results set to be announced in November this year.

Mr Patel added: "A lot of who we help are casual nine to-five workers who can't make ends meet or those who are on Universal Credit - all it takes is to miss one detail on the form and you have to start from scratch.

"Food banks are absolutely still necessary and we are here to help the Wolverhampton and wider community if they need us."

Anyone looking for more information on the NDS Community Service food bank can visit the charities Facebook page