Demand at Corby food bank soars

Louise Taylor, manager of Corby Food Bank
Louise Taylor, manager of Corby Food Bank

Corby food bank has seen a huge rise in the number of people receiving help.

In 2012-13, a total of 566 three-day emergency food parcels were given out to help feed a 1,313 people.

The food bank run by the Trussell Trust has revealed that in 2013-14 it gave out 1,753 food parcels to help feed 4,086 people.

Food bank manager Louise Taylor said: “When we started we were just growing and people were getting to know that we existed.

“Even if we take that into account, we have still seen more than double the number of people in 2013-14 than in 2012-13.

“There has been a rise in the number of people who have had benefits sanctioned because they have failed to turn up to an interview, haven’t completed their job search or failed to meet other requirements.

“They are penalised by having their benefit stopped for a period of time, which can be harsh.

“The biggest increase in the people being referred to us are those who are in difficulty because their benefit has been changed and there is a delay in paying their money.

“It’s hard to get work and even people with a job are struggling. We helped one woman who had a job, but because she was on a zero hours contract and hadn’t been given any work to do, she had no wages. We’ve helped homeless people and families with children, although most people come here during school hours so they don’t have to bring their children with them.”

The food bank in Princewood Road operates out of the Hope Centre and has a team of 60 volunteers who collect and sort donations and help during the five sessions a week when parcels are handed out.

People in need receive enough food for three days and can only go back to the food bank three times in six months.

Louise said: “In some circumstances we will consider helping people a fourth time.

“We receive referrals from all kinds of agencies, even schools.”

The food bank receives donations from local producers but most are from individuals, churches in the town and collections held at Asda and Morrisons. There is also a food collection point at the Cube.

A collection will be held at Asda in Corby, from 10am until 4pm tomorrow with shoppers asked to make donations of dried goods.

If you would like to support the food bank call 01536 737588 for more information.