Councillors and staff from South Tyneside Council have been boosting supplies for the borough’s food banks in an effort to tackle ‘holiday hunger’.
Food banks provide support for individuals and families in crisis ranging from sudden unemployment and benefit payment delays to financial problems.
After learning that school holidays can be a difficult time for families struggling to make ends meet, members and staff have donated a range of non-perishable goods.
The items were gathered by South Tyneside Council, BT South Tyneside and South Tyneside Homes staff and collected and distributed by Unison
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson, said: “I’m grateful to my fellow councillors and staff for their generous donations.
“We all know that the school holidays can be an expensive time for families. But it can be a real issue for some families to have to find the money for an extra meal that would normally be provided at school.
“I would like to also place my thanks on record to the staff at the borough’s food banks who work tirelessly all year round to provide practical and emotional support to individuals and families in need.”
Food banks in South Tyneside are coordinated by Churches Together who provide a range of community support.
To receive a food parcel, residents must be referred by a housing officer, social worker, Citizens Advice Bureau, doctor or health advisor.
Paul Oliver from the Hospitality and Hope food bank said: “We are so grateful to the support we have received from both Unison and South Tyneside Council.
“Referrals to our foodbank have risen significantly over recent months and the donations of food, toiletries and clothing will prove vital to helping children and families as well as individuals who are in crisis over the summer.”
Unison branch secretary, Janet Green, added: “Whilst it is wrong that we are using food banks in the 21st century, Unison is proud to be working to support people in need.
“This is something we support all year round. We would like to thank everyone who has donated and continue to donate and support.”
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service