How north Northamptonshire food banks are proving to be vital during cost of living crisis

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The current economic climate means more people are relying on the services

The cost of living crisis has had a significant impact on communities everywhere, and north Northamptonshire’s food banks are working tirelessly to help those in need.

The rising cost of energy, fuel, childcare, and other factors has meant that Wellingborough’s town centre has seen a decline in traders, people are finding themselves caught between heating their homes or affording daily essentials, and frequent strikes have occurred in the public sector.

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The Daylight Centre, Rushden and Higham Food Bank and Kettering Foodbank, among plenty of others, have been a vital source of sustenance for some in the area, giving parcels of basic food items to alleviate the pressure that some families are under.

The Daylight Centre helps vulnerable people in WellingboroughThe Daylight Centre helps vulnerable people in Wellingborough
The Daylight Centre helps vulnerable people in Wellingborough

Angie Lyall, food administrator at Wellingborough’s Daylight Centre, said: “The food parcels that come from the food pack are parcels that should last three days.

"It’s all donated, and mostly tinned, but we do try to put extras on if they need like toiletries or cleaning products.

"Whatever we get donated in we try to take out, so we do a Facebook page each week with donations that we desperately need.”

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The Daylight Centre is made up of four services, with a charity shop in Cambridge Street, a food bank and a veggie patch in Wollaston as well as the main hub in Wellingborough’s High Street. It provides tailored packs that cater to each person’s specific needs.

Food parcels are helping people as prices surgeFood parcels are helping people as prices surge
Food parcels are helping people as prices surge

Rushden and Higham Food Bank has offering food from the Higham Ferrers Working Men’s Club every Tuesday, and Kettering Foodbank is open through the week, headed up by volunteers. Each has seen their shelves become more empty as more people need basic essentials.

Food banks see a spike in donations during events like Christmas and harvest, but through the year the services can struggle to match the often overwhelming demand.

Energy prices have risen significantly in recent times, as Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine have whipped up the perfect storm that has seen prices for everyday goods soar, and fuel costs inflate drastically.

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Angie Lyall believes this to be the main driving force in the increase in people using the Daylight Centre’s services.

She said: "We’ve seen a massive impact since the cost of living [crisis].

"We are expecting a big influx, because at the moment people get help with their gas and electric, but when that stops it’s going to be another case of ‘well where do I find that money?’”

A government document titled Food Banks in the UK was published in summer 2022. It noted that the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) found that 93 per cent of surveyed organisations reported an increase in the need for food banks and their services since the start of 2022.

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In total 95 per cent that reported an increase said it was due in no small part to the cost of living crisis.

It’s a problem that is affecting communities everywhere, but local food banks are helping North Northamptonshire manage the issue and help people get support during the difficult period.

You can donate to The Daylight Centre here.