Cost of living: Wyke Food Bank sees a 51 per cent increase in demand as the festive season approaches
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This month the Trussell Trust - a charity which supports more than 1,200 food banks across the UK - launched an emergency appeal as food banks face one of the toughest winter’s yet.
Part of the Trust, Wyke Food Bank - which is located on Blackstone Avenue - currently gives away nearly two tonnes of food a month and has seen a 51 per cent increase in demand over the last year, a percentage which is said to be growing ‘month-by-month’.
Dawn Stobart, manager at the Wyke Food Bank, said: “We always go the extra mile at Christmas, but that puts a bigger demand on us as a food bank.
“This year we will be doing over 100 Christmas treat hampers alongside our usual food parcels.
“You can’t leave people in darkness and feeling miserable at Christmas.
“We did the hampers last year and one lady came back to us and said “Christmas is always a dark and hard time and you have brought light”.
“We will also be running a toy shop where families can come along and choose two main presents and two stocking fillers for each child for £1.
“The idea of the £1 is that they have bought it and chosen it, rather than us as a charity just giving it to them. it's all about making sure people have dignity in this.
“It's hard for us all at Christmastime, especially with what’s going on at the moment, but to be struggling to make ends meet and seeing everybody else enjoying themselves is awful.
“We have to try and make Christmas special for everybody.”
To help with demand, the food bank is asking for the following items to be donated:
Tinned goods Sponge puddings Custard Jam Coffee Squash Deodorant Shampoo Washing up liquid Feminine hygiene products
Dawn added: “People are very good at remembering us at Harvest and Christmas, but then things go quiet.
“We are trying to stockpile the best we can now, to carry us through after Christmas.
“This is an on-going problem that is growing month-on-month and sadly in the short-term it is not going to go away.”