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Slough Foodbank sees 'huge increase' in demand 

Slough Foodbank has seen a ‘huge increase’ in referrals for the first three months of the year.

The charity said it recorded its busiest ever period between January to March with a 43 per cent increase in the number of people helped compared to the same period last year.

The last two weeks of March, when the country went into lockdown due to coronavirus, saw a 162 per cent increase.

Slough Foodbank, whose office is based in Montrose Avenue, provides food parcels made up of enough cupboard staples to make three meals a day for three days.

Packages also include extras like tea, coffee, biscuits, goodies, toiletries and basic household items.

Sue Sibany-King, manager at Slough Foodbank said:  “It is heart-breaking to be reporting this huge increase in the need for our services in the first three months of 2020.

“For the full year of 2019 we saw a 19 per cent increase in the number of food parcels supplied, so these further sharp increases are a real and stark picture of the effect COVID-19 is having on individuals and families within the Slough area.”

She said the charity has had to make ‘significant changes’ to the way it runs such as operating behind closed doors and social distancing at distributing centres.

The foodbank is also delivering to those who are isolating and shielding.

Between January and March the foodbank helped 1,637 people and had 755 referrals made by agencies.

Sue added: “While the pandemic is responsible for an increase in need, it has highlighted that so many were struggling in poverty before it took hold and therefore were totally unable to withstand an extra crisis.”

Visit www.slough.foodbank.org.uk for ways to donate.

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