South Shields food bank appeals for generosity ahead of Christmas as donations drop amid cost of living crisis
A South Shields food bank has appealed for generosity in the lead up to Christmas as the cost of living crisis sees donations drop and demand increase.
Hospitality and Hope South Shields, based on Hampden Street, has been supporting the local community in South Tyneside for the last 20 years, but says now is the most challenging time in its history, amid the cost of living crisis.
The food bank says that, as the cost of living crisis worsens, food donations are down and demand has increased, with a shift in the profile of the people needing support - six in 10 of people now using the food bank are families and 40% are employed.
In the lead up to Christmas, the food bank are appealing for any help the community can offer to support the most vulnerable.
Brain Thomas, Chief Executive at Hospitality and Hope South Shields, said: “Our charity has been operating for 20 years on South Tyneside. We’re very busy at the minute. Last year we were 23% up on people coming to us for food support through the food bank and that isn’t easing off.
“Food donations are down at the minute, last year we averaged three and a half tonnes of food donated each month, that’s dropped down to one and half tonnes. People are short of money, which means they can’t buy food for themselves, which means they can’t buy food to donate and that means we’re having to buy food.
“The community tell us when they come how important a place like this is, because they’re at a point in their life where they’ve got no choice and are out of all other options. With energy prices increasing as they have, that is impacting people in the lead up to the Christmas period and beyond.
Hospitality and Hope have food collection points across South Tyneside, including at all Tesco Extras in the area and both Boldon and South Shields Asda.
During the campaign, the Gazette and fellow National World titles aims to raise support Trussell Trust food banks this winter.