More families turn to food banks

Louise Taylor, food bank manager at the food bank in Princewood Road, Corby, talking to MP Andy Sawford.

Louise Taylor, food bank manager at the food bank in Princewood Road, Corby, talking to MP Andy Sawford.

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The number of people in the north of the county who are turning to food banks for help is growing.

There are now more than half a million people in the UK who rely on donations of emergency food parcels.

In Northamptonshire the numbers seeking help continue to grow and food bank organisers say there has been an increase in demand since the introduction of welfare reforms in April.

The food bank launched at the Daylight Centre, High Street, Wellingborough, at the end of April, handed out 70 food parcels during May.

C0-ordinator Paula Mason said: “If the demand for help continues to rise, we will have concerns over our stock of food. The main reason people need our help is that their benefit is stopped without warning, or it is changed and there is a delay in payment.

“I had a pregnant lady here who was hungry and a gentleman who had had a stroke and there was a mix up with his benefits. He came in on two walking sticks. When he got his money sorted out he came back with a donation of food for us. People who come here are ashamed, embarrased and upset.”

People are referred to the food bank, which hopes to expand to villages surrounding Wellingborough, by a number of agencies in the town, including social services, children’s centres and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

Those seeking help are given a three-day emergency food parcel. Anyone who would like to make donations of food can call 01933 446494 or email foodbank@daylightcf.org.

The rise in the number of people relying on food banks has prompted Church Action Poverty and Oxfam to call for an urgent Government investigation into the relationship between benefit delay, error or sanctions, welfare reform changes and the growth of food poverty.

Louise Taylor, manager of Corby Food Bank, said there has been an increase in the number of people turning to the charity for help.

She said: “From January to April we were giving out 17 food parcels a week.

“The average is now 23 a week.

“We are seeing our food stocks going down and would welcome donations and help from volunteers.”

Corby Food Bank is holding a food collection at the town’s Tesco store on July 5 and 6.

If anyone would like to be a volunteer or make a donation of food they can find out more by calling 01536 737578 or visiting corby.foodbank.org.uk.

Kettering Foodbank is holding a training session on July 13 at St Judes drop-in centre, Northampton Road, for people interested in being involved.

To find out more information call 01536 415495 or email stjudeskettering@gmail.com.