Foodbank centres across Mid-Norfolk handed out almost six tonnes of food and toiletries in December.

Statistics from the Mid-Norfolk Foodbank reveal that more than eight households a day made use of its service during December 2023 – an 80pc rise on 2021 foodbank use – as the cost-of-living crisis continues to affect more and more people and they seek help from a foodbank for the first time.

“We are seeing new faces at our foodbanks every week as people reach out for help with the essentials. It really is very troubling,” said Suzanne Bushby, operations manager.

The three foodbank centres in Dereham, Swaffham and Fakenham gave out 5.8 tonnes of food and toiletries throughout the month to the 255 householders requesting a food parcel voucher. These parcels fed 754 people, 332 of these being children.

On top of this, the volunteers sorted and packed 250 Christmas boxes, filling them with sweet treats, Christmas pudding and cakes, chocolates, and biscuits.

“Of course, none of this would have been possible without the ongoing generosity of Norfolk residents who continue to support the foodbank faithfully and the 60 or more volunteers who give of their time freely and happily,” Mrs Bushby added.

“We’ve had such wonderful support from churches, schools, community groups, local businesses, and individuals. It is very heart-warming. And our volunteers worked extremely hard this year to meet the demand.”

The Dereham Runners collected and donated 124 kg of food the week before Christmas, almost double that of last year.

Last month the group got an electric van, funded by the Government’s Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund.

The Mid Norfolk Foodbank website (https://midnorfolk.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/),  is regularly updated with the items urgently needed and also explains how to get a food parcel voucher if you are struggling to pay for the essentials this winter.

(Source: Dereham Times)

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