South Shields charity Hospitality and Hope desperately needs 15 tonnes of food so that its food bank can support those who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The South Tyneside Food Bank has been forced to open its doors five days a week, from Monday to Friday, in order to cope with the rising demand.
A recent report from The Trussell Trust has warned that UK destitution rates will double by Christmas alongside an explosion in demand for charity food parcels, as coronavirus job and income support schemes are wound down.
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Hospitality and Hope is now appealing to residents, schools and businesses across South Tyneside to donate a wide range of foods including tins, packets as well as toiletries and other essentials.
It needs around 15 tonnes of food to provide enough emergency food parcels to feed around 750 families over the winter.
Chair of trustees, Pauline Tinnelly said: “The work our dedicated frontline team and volunteers at Hospitality and Hope do is life-changing for many of the people we support.
“Like many charities Covid-19 has had a massive impact on the services we provide.
"Demand for the food bank is increasing yearly, with the roll out of Universal Credit and the pandemic has made it unbearable for some individuals and families we support.”
Pauline added: "We need 15 tonnes of food to ensure that we can continue to provide food parcels and care packages to the most vulnerable throughout the winter.
"As well as this Hospitality and Hope needs vital financial support to enable the delivery of our services, buildings, and maintenance.”
The chaity is also asking businesses who are not holding a staff Christmas party this year if they are able to donate a percentage of what they would have spent to the £15k Winter Virgin Money Giving campaign.
The campaign will go towards funding the charity’s operational costs.
Food donations can be dropped it off at the Hospitality and Hope Hampton Street Operation Centre, Hampden Street, South Shields, NE33 4JR.
The food bank can be contacted on 0191 420 3336.
For those wishing to make a financial donation, the Virgin Money Giving page is https://virginmoneygiving.com/fund/HH15kchallenge