Slough Foodbank makes appeal following 'shocking' increase in demand

Slough Foodbank is appealing for more donations and volunteers after its figures for the last six months revealed a ‘shocking’ increase in demand.

The foodbank, which comes under the umbrella of The Trussell Trust, provides emergency food parcels to those in immediate food poverty crisis, while also helping to signpost them to other means of support.

This week the foodbank revealed its figures for the number of food parcels provided in the six months from January 1 to June 30.

The figures revealed an overall 21 percent increase in the number of food parcels being provided this year compared to the same period last year, with figures shooting up from 3,605 in 2021 to 4,372 this year.

The statistics also showed a rise in the number of adults and children being fed, with figures for adults going up from 2,375 last year to 2,686 in the same period this year – a 13 percent increase.

Figures for children went from 1,230 last year to 1,686 this year – a 37 per cent increase.

Laura Cole, Slough Foodbank manager, said: “It’s a sad reality that we are continuing to see an increase in the number of people in food crises in and around Slough.

“The cost of living is making a difference to what people can afford and this leads to difficult decisions being made – whether to pay bills, buy clothes or eat food.

“We wish we didn't exist, as we would rather see a country where everyone can afford to put food on their table.

“However, whilst ever there is a need we will do our best to support our clients.”

Rebecca Ford, communications officer at Slough Foodbank explained that the foodbank, which provides food parcels to those who have been referred and have a food voucher, is seeing more families seeking help, whereas before they might have seen more single people.

She added that while the foodbank is an emergency crisis charity and ‘not ideally suited for the long term’, due to the current situation, the team are seeing the same people for a longer period of time.

Following the increase in demand, the foodbank is now appealing for both donations of food and toiletries, particularly smaller-sized items, and for more volunteers.

Laura added: “We are extremely grateful to the donations of food and toiletries that we receive.

“We regularly publish our shopping needs on our website and would encourage people to look at the items we need.

“This month we are in urgent need of tinned soup, long-life fruit juice, tinned carrots/mixed veg, deodorant and shower gel.

“We also ask for small sized items where possible, as many of our clients either walk or travel by public transport to our distribution centres and the food and basic toiletries parcel gets heavy.

“With increased demand obviously comes a need to meet that demand through volunteers – so if you may be able to help please look on our website for current vacancies which include van drivers and packing and warehouse volunteers.”

The current shopping list can be viewed at: www.slough.foodbank.org.uk/give-help-2/foodbank-wishlist/

For more information visit: www.slough.foodbank.org.uk/

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